May 9, 2007


From the new U.S. Special Operations Command Posture Statement 2007 (32 page pdf):

USSOCOM [The United States Special Operations Command] is synchronizing global operations against terrorist networks in coordination with other Combatant Commands, U.S. Government agencies, and international partners through collaboration and the employment of national-level systems to maximize these combined effects. The authority to synchronize enables USSOCOM to arrange global military actions to ensure the optimum employment of force. This unprecedented and complex effort is maturing rapidly and all parties, both within and outside of DOD, are becoming accustomed to the process.

USSOCOM's Center for Special Operations (CSO) is the fusion point for DOD GWOT synchronization efforts, combining operations, intelligence, and long-range planning and strategy. The CSO provides a venue for regular meetings, briefings, and conferences with each of the GCCs [Geographic Combatant Commanders], the interagency, and partner nations. This consistent dialogue is the catalyst for ongoing planning and situational understanding that simply did not exist even a year ago. The continuous collaboration is augmented with a USSOCOM sponsored semi-annual Global Synchronization Conference. Participants include DOD commands and representatives from other U.S government agencies and international partners. The conference provides a consolidated, common threat picture, a detailed review of GWOT-related plan development, and prioritizes GWOT operations, actions, and activities for near- and long-term objectives. ...

USSOCOM does not control GWOT operations within GCCs' areas of responsibility, but synchronizes their activities at the global, strategic level. This ensures unity of effort and allows USSOCOM to look "between the seams" as terrorists move, communicate, finance, and operate between regions. ...

As part of the DOD GWOT effort, USSOCOM is committed to integrating both approaches throughout the globe from the strategic to the tactical level. Both approaches are inherent in the SOF Core Tasks – the Direct Action and Counterterrorism capabilities address direct approach requirements; Unconventional Warfare, Foreign Internal Defense, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations are the key military capabilities applicable to the indirect approach. Vital to the success of short-term and long-term objectives in the GWOT is SOF's ability to manage both approaches
to harness their complementary effects. ...

A unique USSOCOM contribution to creating a global antiterrorist environment involves its strategic Psychological Operations (PSYOP) capabilities. Strategic PSYOP are those actions or activities designed to promote the truth and influence foreign audiences in support of U.S. Government objectives. This capability is used in areas or situations that are particularly sensitive, require a large degree of senior- level oversight, or have significant impact on the governance of foreign nations and populations. USSOCOM's Joint Psychological Operations Support Element (JPSE) is a key component for conducting trans-regional PSYOP in support of the GWOT. ... It focuses on denying safe-haven to terrorists abroad and countering global terrorist ideology and influence with strategic and trans-regional PSYOP prototypes and activities. Trans-regional PSYOP are conducted under the authorities of USSOCOM or the GCCs, and are always in coordination with local U.S. Ambassadors and the interagency.

Strategic communications, in contrast, are the U.S. Government's focused efforts to understand and engage key audiences in order to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of U.S. interests, policies, and objectives. A highly effective USSOCOM strategic communications initiative is the Sovereign Challenge Program. This program is a collaborative USSOCOM/U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) project which focuses on the sovereignty of independent nations, the ways in which terrorism violates that sovereignty, and how these nations can assist each other in combating terrorism.

USSOCOM's total authorized manpower for FY 2007 is 47,911 personnel, with roughly thirteen percent of SOF military personnel coming from the Reserve and National Guard. This total manpower number is lower than FY 2006 because of the transfer of U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Reserve personnel [to the U.S. Army Reserve Command]. Funding for SOF military personnel is included in each of the Services individual accounts.

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