tv Oppose Any Foe CSPAN June 10, 2017 6:01pm-7:00pm EDT
now we are going to kick off the weekend with author and journalist matt taibbi. he was a guest last weekend on "in depth" are live monthly column programmer one author discusses his or her books and the viewers haven't opportunity to participate in the conversation. mr. tiabbi is a contributor at "rolling stone" magazine and the author of seven best-selling books including the great arrangement and his most recent insane clown president, dispatches from the 2016th circus. >> good morning. welcome to the heritage foundation and r. douglas and sarah allison of terrain. we welcome those who are joining us on our heritage.org web site and also c-span tv. for those in house we would ask the courtesy to see that our mobile devices have been silenced or turned off. for those watching on line or in
the future you're welcome to send questions or comments. simply e-mail email@example.com and of course we'll post today's program on the heritage front page for everyone's future reference as well. leading our discussion today is daniel kochis. daniel is our policy analyst at the margaret thatcher center for free and pretty focused on transatlantic security issues. his writings have been featured in real clear world foxnews.com breitbart.com and he has provided expert analysis for 100 radio and television appearances he has also served as a panelist at the transatlantic think tank conference in brussels belgium and provided parliamentary into the house of lords select committee on the arctic. prior to joining us here at heritage in the thatcher center he worked for a nonprofit in washington d.c. is a policy analyst as well as on the advisory board company as a research associate in the associate director. please join me in welcoming
daniel kochis. [applause] >> thank you john and good morning everybody. this beautiful wednesday in washington. we are honored today to be joined by mark moyar whose book "oppose any foe" the rise of america's special operations forces was described by national review as an valuable and highly readable overview of special operations forces history not just for those who are newly joining its ranks but for anyone who seeks to know more about the glamorous and little understood forces. mark moyar as director for the diplomatic -- in washington d.c.. he has served as professor at the u.s. marine corps university and a senior fellow at the joint special operations university. he has advised the senior leadership of several military commands as well. he has a b.a.'s chromosome lot
and the b.a. from cambridge. in addition to the book we are talking about today he has written a number of other works including building partner relations and partners are capital which i read in grad school. how president obama strong warfare and -- a question of command civil war to iraq triumph forsaken the vietnam war 1954 to 1965 and phoenix in the birth of prey counterinsurgency and counterterrorism and get him and without i look forward to your discussion and i will turn it over to you. [applause] >> thank you very much daniel for that kind introduction and thank you john for inviting me here to be back at the heritage foundation. i'm going to talk about this book a little bit.
i can't cover the whole thing in this presentation but i'm going to hit on some of the highlights and we will have some time for questions and answers at the end i would like to provide a little bit of background and the reason i wrote this book was it was as a joint special operations university we started a course on the history of special operations and discovered there was not a single volume that we could look to to give you the history from the origins of world war ii all the way up to the present and most of what special operations forces understand our certain pieces. as i was writing this special operations have become a future part of our overseas engagement and there is not enough understanding of the policy world but what actually they do. i'm going to start off with a little bit of intro. even in the policy world there
are not too many people who i think understand what the different parts of special operations forces are so i'm going to talk about that for a minute. at the top u.s. special operations command, or u.s. socom and that is the umbrella organizations for special operations forces located in tampa and i will talk about how that came into existence. the loader of the component commands in the special operations role and all the services they are and there's a jsoc second from the right joint special operations command which is comprised of multiple services and we will get into how that came into being. there's also a lot of confusion about what special operations forces themselves are at a lot of this has to do with the fact that they have special forces. special forces are part of the army so they fall into the
bucket on the left. the special operations forces is the umbrella term for everything so if you can remember one thing from this talk remembers that -- special operations forces are not the same as special operations. i'm going to start off talking about world war ii because world were provides the key impetus for first special operations forces and also paved the way for future forces. most of what we see today, you can trace its roots back to some degree to world war ii. special operations get going first in the uk side with winston churchill but after the fall of france the british are faced with another war against germany and churchill like a lot of brits did not want to fight another world war i style war were a whole generation of
manner decimated so he tries away to get around it. he has a strategy of raiding germany on the periphery with a new organization called the commando. part of that is because they left their equipment behind. this is the way to be doing something without a huge slugfest on the continent. once the u.s. comes in the roosevelt administration decides it wants to try to get more involved with the uk and one of the first opportunities to work with these commandos and an organization called the army rangers a set-up under william orlando darby. they work with commandos and they are training with the commandos and one of the first missions that the rangers go on
on the french coast turns out to be a complete disaster. the germans wipe out most of the landing force. the result of this disaster the allies move away from this idea of raiding on the coasts. not working out well and you are not doing much to hurt the access of powers by doing this. by the time the rangers are getting up to speed they are going to take part in the big campaigns of the war first in north africa and subsequently italy and france. in italy they take part in the major landings in sicily and salerno and anti-aum. initially some of their special training comes in handy but once they get ashore they end up fighting primarily with conventional infantry. there's not a lot of opportunity
to sneak around germans as some of the less capable italian and french forces they dealt with in north africa. when they get to anzio they are part of an early attempt to move into which leads to the battle on january 30, 1944 were two of the ranger battalions are sent to take this town and they run unexpectedly into a german division which completely wipe them out. out of 767 troops only six of them escaped from that disaster. so this shows. clearly that the rangers are not really capable of fighting this conventional war based on their equipment and so we will see them mostly get phased out over time. on the marine corps side we have the formation of the marine corps raiders in january of 1942 and hear president roosevelt is
directly involved and he forms these raiders based on the advice of his son james who is a junior marine officer who is enamored of this guy who was shown in the other picture with mao tse-tung. he has commandos and guerrillas running around. the marine corps commandant when he hears this thinks it's a crazy idea and says there's no way we should do this. a president takes the advice of his son so the marine raiders battalions are formed and as the rangers they have initial successes but when the war becomes increasingly conventional they endure a number of setbacks including the georgia campaign which again will be ultimately phasing out those units. on the navy side the frog men are created mainly to clear obstacles for amphibious landings after the debacle where
marine landing craft ran into obstacles and had their bottom store now. these units would go in and send demolitions to break away the charges and were generally considered successful in doing so. then we also have in world war ii the oss has its own special operations forces and william j. donovan the head of the oss. he is trying to find places to put forces. a lot of the regional commanders don't want is people they are but he does find willing partners in the theater partly because the error not a lot of american forces there so he organizes what is called detachment 101 and it was given that number because they didn't want the enemy to know that they only had one unit. they partner with the coach and
forces after some trial and error. a lot of their initial attempts don't go well and there aren't local partners they can work with. in detachment 101 does find it consistent leader who is -- and they form the coach in rangers who work together with more conventional rangers and a highly effective force. in europe the oss formed units which were small three-man teams that parachute in to work with the resistance organizations after d-day. locally they have a lot of stuff. i think i argue we tend to overestimate their effectiveness on the strategic scale. if you look at this chart their are only 222 that go in.
much smaller than the operational groups which is another os entity in both of those are smaller than the 1574 british sas. when you think about what caused trouble for the germans, resistance is not high on the list. it was the campaign done to mislead the germans with the most important terms of slowing german response and strategic bombing came in second. while there was some impact i think we tend to overestimate the strategic impact that they are is still a lot of reverence for the jet urgently now have a program today. at the end of world war ii almost all of the special operations forces are disbanded and a lot of that has to do with the fact that they didn't turn out as effectively as they had hoped. was only the frog men who retain some of their strength and that's big as they were perceived as being especially effective.
the book goes into, has a whole chapter on korea which i'm not going to cover in the interest of time but a lot of interesting stuff happens including the formation of the army special forces. i'm going to touch on the kennedy period because that's the critical moment. kennedy is a huge fan of the special forces. he is a romanticized view of how much they can actually accomplish. when he comes then he orders an increase of 10,500, which seems great but one of the problems you have is you start to build him up rapidly and you can't be quite so he leads. when he comes in, 90% of people who tried to qualify failed out. in order to reach the expansion they are only retaining 30% of the people so you see a certain degradation of quality. you have on the navy side kennedy pushes for the creation
of the sea air and land team or seals as we know them today which started out as a counterinsurgency. bahrain counterinsurgency force. in terms of vietnam it's a mixed record of success and failure. some of the programs work every well. it does become a conventional war by 1965. it's effective in mobilizing tribes against the enemy. in the 70s there is a surge in hijacking and terrorism. which creates a lot of consternation and as the military is coming out of vietnam it's something where it seems like it could be a role in
special operations to play. the first thing that happens in 1974 the rangers are brought back to life. they are seen as not elite enough so 1977 we have delta force which is an army unit most of the army unit and a 1980 we see s.e.a.l. team six which is the navy's attempt to produce an equivalent to delta force. initially these are all focused on hostage rescue. the first big mission operation eagle claw in 1980, delta force is sent to rescue the iran hostages. they send helicopters and they are supposed to move from there to tehran and mechanical problems and other problems they don't get enough helicopters there.
there was a fire and eight americans are caught and they are not able to retrieve their bodies when they have to leave. it was a huge setback but it does lead to reforms that are of great value to special operations forces. the first one, one of the problems identified in eagle claw you have been ad hoc command structure that was thrown together late in the day and not sufficiently coordinated so this would lead to the court nation of jsoc, joint special operations command. there is also a problem with the aircraft and aircraft failure is pivotal in this debacle. they brought together pilots and aircraft. to deal with this problem date create the nightstalkers, the 160th operation aviation battalion to give them a dedicated air capability.
the next few years there's further reform efforts which culminate in the creation of socom, special operations command with the nun one amendment in 1986 and their supporters sing congress pushing for legislation. the first thing they get a socom special operations command which as i mentioned earlier of war start headquarters in tampa. the second thing they get his assistant secretary of defense for special operations and conflict in this gives special operations a presence inside the pentagon where it's useful to have a player at that level. the first thing they give is mfp 11 commission force program 11 which is a separate funding line
and special operators who thought they were getting their share resources. fourthly they get a nine missions that are said to be special operations specialties. it seems special operations have finally got what they needed and got all these great things going for them. but it turns out it's not quite as rosy as one might hope. by the way the guy on the right in that picture is not clark griswold. he kind of has the clark griswold haircut but that is actually senator nun. here we go. so we get to desert storm 1990. general schwarzkopf is on the left. he's the commander of central command which is one of the regional combatant commands. on the right you have general carl steiner who is the commander of socom. one of the things nunn colin didn't do was give forces so
that authority resides with the regional commander and this case general schwarzkopf. it's up to socom to make the case to schwarzkopf that these tours as our valuable. he goes to schwarzkopf and pleads with him to give this forces the opportunity to take part in the operation. schwarzkopf not known for particularly liking special operations forces ends up not giving the many important issues so the socom guys feel stuck on the bench with support units not getting to do a lot of the cool stuff they were hoping to do. the next event for special operations is 9/11. important for all americans but perhaps no more important and special operations forces.
we have shortly after the attack president bush is trying to figure out a way to get back so he sends in the cia and army special forces to work with the northern alliance rebel group fighting the taliban. some of the special forces would go in on horseback and right in with the northern alliance people. the americans actually are not at all prepared for afghanistan. they have a special operators on a mission who are all fluent in arabic and french because they thought they'd be going on middle east missions. they have one skill that turns out to be really crucial and that's the ability to guide precision munitions so they help the northern alliance quickly overcome the taliban resistance. they chased al qaeda out and this is seen i think rightly the single most strategically important role that special
operations forces has played. not too long thereafter we got another regime takedown in iraq and initially there was some talk that we were going to use something similar to afghanistan, very soft heavy force of elite units moving around blowing things up with laser precision-guided missiles but they figure out it's actually not a resistance movement. so they largely did a conventional coming from the southeast from kuwait. it does play a role in diversionary operations. in the west they set up a tank unit that is designed to make it look like they're a lot more tanks coming and in the north saddam had move some of his forces to the west and north enhance away from baghdad so works out pretty well for some here too.
as we all know the difficult part in iraq and afghanistan was not taking the regime down by figuring out what happened afterwards. in the immediate aftermath of iraq they saw chaos and there's arise of insurgency that is fueled by saddam hussein's baath party. socom special operations are called in to do man hunting and specifically to find saddam and his sons. they do eventually tracked down both of them. here is saddam after he is captured by special operators and are told initially that the decapitation strike is going to put a lid on the insurgency that has fallen apart now that saddam is gone but fortunately there are others who are ready and willing to take up the charges. we then find ourselves in a prolonged insurgency campaign
and around this time we have general stanley mcchrystal coming in as the jsoc commander. pass 4714 is the task force he sets up in iraq and at the time he was not particularly active. there were still a lot of people that thought elite forces should not be in daily operations. they should be focusing on the big target to mcchrystal decides we can do that and saddam has shown that's not going to work so he looks for ways to ramp up their operations and does so very effectively. there were only 10 operations when he comes in 2004. think you was up to 300 and 2006. this is made possible by advances in communications technology and iraqi's are using cell phones and computers without a lot of thought given to the fact that they are being intercepted.
a lot of people think at this scale we can in fact restore the insurgency. we also have on the white soft side which is another term that people sometimes get confused about that white soft or basically operators who are not part of jsoc so it's mainly special forces and navy s.e.a.l.s at this time. they also decide that they want to do this surgical strike precision. and go out and haul out the bad guys the middle of the night and move away from their more traditional role of working with local forces, local populations and will come under fire from a number within the community for taking them away from that. and so what we think of counterinsurgency typically working with local forces to secure the population is done mainly by conventional or says
and we will see over time there is a better collaboration between special operations and general purpose forces as they call them. initially a lot of them were running around doing things by themselves thinking this is going to win the war and they ticked off a lot of conventional commanders who are the ones that had to go in the next morning explained to the population would have happened in cleaning up the mess. over time they learn to actually work together and what they did could be mutually reinforcing. there's a myth and counterinsurgency that you don't need to capture the enemy and that's falsely that division of labour for the special operators were going into the capturing and killing of a leadership target while the conventional forces would do more population security. they go in and stir up a hornets nest and reveal the targets. it's only really through that combination in 2007 and 2008
that they suppress the insurgency. after that happens we move our military center of gravity to afghanistan and the special operations continues to do a targeted killing and capture mission but they also decided it's time to do more of the traditional working with populations types missions so they come up with stability operations in which a lot of these soft units go out to the villages and they work with afghan local police which are locally recruited policemen who are basically intended to secure their villages and keep the taliban out. i read a whole study on this which you can look at on line but to sum it up recently it was relatively affect if paid again it depended a lot on the local afghans but it was never at a
scale that was big enough to fundamentally tilt the scale. it was not done in enough villages. another thing that happens is bin laden gets killed by navy s.e.a.l.s from jsoc and it seems to be gratifying for americans to get rid of this guy but there are turns out it didn't work as well strategically as we had hoped. there was a big backlash in pakistan for the violations of the airspace which result in a whole bunch of special operators getting kicked out of pakistan from areas where there are insurgents. they shut down a drone base their and al qaeda continues on. bin laden by this time has produced enough lieutenants and spread them out that the organization can survive.
it also promotes for a time and administration to tout the positive aspect and create this idea that we can win strategically with these raids and we don't need a big counterinsurgency mission or other type of thing. this leads to what is known as the lightfoot brand strategy where we pull out our conventional -- forces in iraq and afghanistan might argue the results were catastrophic and we saw the results of isis and in afghanistan was the the larger territory that we had previously helped to take in libya are willingness to commit forces there. in yemen aren't this is on surgical strike results in the acoustic taking over and wiping out our special operations apparatus there. the last few slides here don't
have any pictures and they are a little bit more of policy conclusions. i put them at the end so you were awake for the rest of the presentation but i will just cover these. these are some of the big takeaways from the book that are relevant to today. we have a new administration which like most does not have a particularly good understanding of the subject and it does have several senior military people who do understand the issues quite well. the first of the four main issues that the book covers is a question of presidential leadership and the first i want to make on that is presidents oftentimes are very interested but don't usually nothing much and when they don't know much they don't expect much or expect the wrong things. other presidents have come to
office without that interested in our world actually there are oftentimes situations where special operations may be the only option. .. clinton thought we could take out - quickly and was that doesn't work you lose interest in special operations.the other point i would mention is that soft opportunity to do things for partisan political purposes, you can hide what they are doing more easily than other instruments. and so lyndon johnson for example in vietnam used them to
hit the enemy quietly because it was an election year he didn't want vietnam to attract too much attention and so i think that is something we need to be very careful of. second of the themes of the book is roles and missions of special operations forces. and the book traces over time how things have evolved, often times end up doing things they were not prepared for. even with the creation of socom, they have to keep reinventing themselves. also find that one gets the wars oftentimes are two things that have to be done that they were not prepared for. to maintain a degree of flexibility. counterinsurgency is one of the
more controversial areas in terms of what they should and can be doing. there are a lot of people that say counterinsurgency is a thing of the past. we did not like it in iraq or afghanistan but we find as a nation we often times fighting wars we did not plan on. also, a lot of the counter insurgency territories you want, can also be used and insurgencies that is something we are doing in a number of countries. also training and assisting partners is something clearly they will continue to do because we, there's always an appetite in the country to have other people do difficult things rather than sending our people to do it themselves. the third theme is effectiveness. a lot of controversy about how effective it has been especially when you get to the strategic level when it is less clear and it is pretty easy to tell whether you captured a
target work destroyed a building or whatever. but when you get to strategy, there is a lot more leeway for subjective interpretation. one point i would make is that the local actors in most of these conflicts play a huge role. we sometimes kind of think the americans are the ones who will decide things. usually is dependent mainly on the local people. we can support and help certain people but if you do not have strong allies to begin with, you will not get very far. you also need think about effectiveness have to think about what it will cost to your conventional forces when you move resources to the special forces, special operations forces. the third point i would make is strategic impact is going to be limited usually by scale. you simply cannot produce enough special operations forces. in most cases to have indecisive impact on their own. and this is worth remembering
because we keep saying this, there's a tendency to think that special operations can be strategically effective and only think that we usually try to reach too far. then the last point, the last theme of the book is a relationship between the special operations forces and the conventional military forces. this has been a problem from the very beginning. part of it is simply human nature. when we have one organization touted as being special and it goes around pulling the best people are from various places. you will create resentment and the rest of the organization. but it's also not simply a matter of jealousy. there is a valid argument to be made and it is often been made by conventional forces that if you pull these forces out, pull the talent out of one organization and focus them here that the rest of the organization is going to suffer. you will not have the leaders or the ncos that you might
need. and so that is something that is worth bearing in mind when we think about the way forward. because and conventional forces may not be in high demand now but there's a good chance we may need them for something, otherwise we wouldn't still have them. we are going to take a long-term approach. think of expanding, continues to be a temptation to expand. they were 38,000 2001. he renounced 70,000 in 2016. and i think we need to be careful, i think you're so deleted our talent pools and some of the services that it is not a wise idea to move then any further. and last point i would make is just in general that sofand conventional forces usually most effective when they work intended together. this is something that depends
on leadership on both sides. that is one of the points i hope to get across in the book. thank you very much for your attention. we will now take some questions. >> thank you, thank you so much for that very thorough and intriguing discussion. i would like to take some q&a now. if you could please, just state your name and institutional affiliations. please wait for the microphone when you're called upon.if i could ask the first question, you talked about president clinton getting disenchanted with special operations after somalia. i would be curious a reason is becoming hotter i think in the current sphere. what was the role of special operations and us nato involvement in the balkans in the late 90s? >> yes, a great question. you have software called upon
to work with communities in the balkans trying to maintain the peace. and the did do some of the targeted grades but there wasn't much killing going on at that point. the big lesson i think they took away from the balkans experience was that this help them develop their ability to work with local communities again, something seen as a strength of special operations. one that they seem to get away from in iraq than there is so much focus but again this is something that when you get back to the village stability operations program in 2010, 11 them all cite their experiences in the balkans as something that helped them develop their skills to go into an unfamiliar environment. to understand population, how to identify the formal and informal leaders are and to work with them.
[inaudible question] >> looking forward, and thinking about the challenges that we will face, particularly in the war on terror. how do you view the role of the special operations, special forces in dealing with the outcome of conflict. nadia -- is a good book and that you probably have seen or heard her talk about but one of the things that is lacking in the way that we have planned and executed our wars is that we haven't given enough attention to managing and for successful total outcome.
among the population and in the countries affected by the war. as a former usaid guy and having served close to the special forces and other operations on the military side, how do you view the potential and the opportunity and risk of dealing with that what happens after the war. from the special forces perspective and from the perspective of the possible relationship between the special forces usaid, state or other aspects of the civilian government? >> yes, great question. nadia is actually a very good friend. she was instrumental in setting up the center for military and somatic history that i now run. she is now hoping to category military strategy at the white house critically agree with her book. we do in general tend to
underestimate the challenges that we are going to run into. part of it is traditionally, dod is kind of expected that the the millions -- a book i wrote about this before i spoke about inherited -- one of the problems we encounter is that we do not take a holistic view of stability in these countries. the big three sectors that we tend to focus on our security, governance and development. when you look at it as a government, security with dod they have the development. it has been usaid. the governance kind of got lost in the shuffle because we don't really have an agency focused on that. that is a big area where i think we need to improve. and i think the military has a role to play there. i think civil affairs actually can do a lot there. special operations can play a certain role but i think again, there is an issue of scale.
there is so much else that they have to do that their ability to work in nonsecurity fields is somewhat limited. what i argue in terms of long-term capacity, where special operations have made the most difference is where they have taken a role in long-term leadership development. and columbia being the prime example where special operations went in and worked with the central training education institutions of those countries and that is a develop leaders over the long-term. but you have to do it when they are in military academy or command staff. because that is when you can actually really affect culture which i think is a critical ingredient. if you go out and send guys to train people on the shotgun and rifle range, which we do a lot of, the long-term value of that i don't see as being that big. i certainly think we need to think more strategically.
think more in the long term because as you point out, it is a lot easier to change every day meant to establish something in its place and fortunately, where things are in the middle east we are going to be that business for a long time. there is certainly temptation to continue the whack-a-mole approach. we're just going in killing terrorists in these failed and failing states. you can do that over and over but very unlikely will solve the problem that way. you do have to come up with ways to i think develop the governance and the security. at the same time you the development part of it which will ultimately allow the countries to fund their own governance securities so we are not on top forever.
quest dan roper association of the united states army.can you comment a little mark on the integration of sof and -- so that we can achieve a lasting stability because everywhere we look we are taking that whack-a-mole and we focus on a problem and we fix it everything is perfect and then we leave it in the problem comes back.are the roads and underlying causes -- we don't have our eyes focused on that long ball integration between what the specialist guys and things that only sof can do or do better in what the conventional forces are that line seems to be blurred. there is recognition that something is wrong but i don't see anybody actually acting to fix that.or raise that issue.
anything you can say on that would be appreciated. >> yeah, that question of overlapping omissions has been there from the beginning. they tried to do away with this they said we are bringing in special operations for this mission. and in reality it is never quite played out that way. partly because of circumstances. in the conventional military, they didn't want to do counterinsurgency particularly, certainly the army.but when you get to iraq or afghanistan the scale is such that those guys have to start doing things that we thought sof was going to do. and then they may do things that you can argue conventional forces could do. certainly, when we went into iraq it was not well thought through how this was all going to come together and special operators were a lot of times doing their own thing. in any organization, people tend to not want to follow
someone else's authority. they would rather do it they like to do but we have seen, we have learned in counterinsurgency, unity of command is really important. if you have people going into an area and arresting people or shooting people, it may disrupt what the commander for that area is actually trying to accomplish. i think we have learned, we have gained awareness of that in the latter years of iraq and afghanistan. there was a lot of cooperation between the sof elements and conventional elements. there was an attempt which i go through in the book, socom has sometimes wanted to gain independence from the commanders and they push this early on and tried to get socom to essentially become independent man hunting command and socom at the time was not very interested but punted some
of that to jsoc and they took that on. they have other commanders come in who wanted to gets the point of having socom be independent or having more independence anyway in deciding where to put its forces. that ended up generating resentment among the commanders and ultimately failed. but you do have an enduring problem there. you have, you could certainly argue that there is value to having forces that transcend all of the regional commands. which is ãyou know al qaeda crosses boundaries and we have her talk about change where is not going to be regional command but i think we are in that part for now. i think the regional command in general makes sense.
in terms of maintaining that unity of command. in terms of integrating better, i think that is certainly something that needs to be further explored. just a couple of excellent general thomas was at congress saying how his special operators are getting burned out.because there is like 8000 who are actually doing most of the operational missions and we keep sending the same people over and over and over. while at the same time a lot of the conventional forces aren't getting properly used. i think we're starting to see a shift on this. if you look at syria, somalia, we are sending conventional forces there. i would argue also that conventional forces can do most of these things. or sometimes sof tried to claim them but ultimately i think it is in the best interest of sof but the general purpose forces do more of this stuff because if you look at a lot of these guys have more than 10 deployments. the mental health problems and divorce, suicide are
increasing. as general thomas said is really not sustainable. this administration i think hopefully, will figure out a better way to spread some of the burdens of these low intensity wars across the broader military. >> you commented briefly on the village stability operations in afghan local police. as i recall, he said that it was viewed as something that was rather successful. but couldn't take it to scale. my experience was that it really bled nicely into the office of transition initiatives in the regular aig programs. looking at the whole territory you are trying to impact. what likelihood do you think there is that those models vso
and alp would be viewed as important tools and be extended because of that? >> that's a great question. just had a new usaid ministry denominated mark green. he is a very exciting development. he in particular recognizes the value of programs like this that they do cross the security development governance nexus. my sense is he will be quite interested. i think in general there is a perception among this administration that we have tried too much to treat development in isolation. and that we need to tie it more closely to our broader objectives to the national interests.i think certainly within the special operations community there is quite a bit of interest in the general concept of village stability
operations in afghan local police. at the same time there's also this pressure to keep doing the surgical strike type operations. it will depend a lot on pilot of leadership from the administration. how much they want to do of this. there are some counter forces right now that are arguing against anything that sounds like nationbuilding. i attend, my own view is that we already meshed in nationbuilding and we will be doing it to some extent. we can do it more smartly though i think in certain respects. then the other thing you have to keep in mind is, i was doing work with socom in the aftermath of vso and alp. and there was a lot and special operations that wanted to take them out to other countries but
they ran into a lot of trouble first from the state department which didn't necessarily like bringing in military into the area and some of that was under suspicion of the military. at least in the last administration there were a lot of people who believe that the military can worsen problems in governance and security. which i think is actually not at all the case. i think many countries the military has been at the forefront of improvements. in columbia and also victoria for great examples of that. the afghan army was the best institution they had but he had that and then you also had some local governments simply do not want to let you in to do that. i think we are also getting our state department set up at the moment. i'm guessing they will be more receptive to expanding in areas of this type going forward. >> a final question?
perhaps, if i could ask a final question. can we talk about the role that technology has played in the development of special forces and whether or not as strategic adversaries, special forces gain increased technology. how that sort of changed us effectiveness or the ãfor our forces. >> technology was i would say critical in the first decade of the century. the precision munitions enabled the special forces to defeat the taliban in a way that few people thought possible. a very small number of our troops just with this precision munitions capability. they allow the northern alliance to take an area that for years and been unable to make any headway on. then it is also critical when
you get to iraq and afghanistan counterinsurgency where you would never have been able to do these massive industrial scale raids under earlier technologies. in vietnam we tried to do things like this but the reality was you could not get, you just cannot get information quickly enough to get people where they needed to be. by the time you actually got there the enemy would be gone. when you suddenly have cell phones and laptop computers, proliferating in iraq, people are all using those and we have the capability then to use that to find people. and so, things could have been very different in iraq without that. i think more recently it seems like we certainly explore that in places like syria. but our enemies do seem to be catching on and have become more careful in using encryption, other means to hide they are doing.
some of our enemies or using drones against his peers some of our adversaries are getting better at cyber warfare. i think in terms of what special forces do, it is hard to say because we don't know what the next conflict, goods argument conventional war, we could easily i think see war with north korea or iran or possibly even china. and in those wars you have technology that we probably did not anticipate. i think in the brushfire wars in the middle east we will probably maintain an edge but it seems that we are not going to necessarily solve any of these problems through our technological superiority. >> thank you doctor mark moyar
for coming to the discussion today and leading us. thinking to the audience for coming to the heritage foundation. a reminder that this is on our webpage within 24 hours. there are also copies available of doctor mark moyar's book in the lobby. i'm sure he would be happy to sign those for anyone that would like to after the program. if you can please join me in a round of applause for doctor mark moyar and for his discussion. [applause] >>. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> what big books you have coming up this fall? >> into books. one is a worldly affair. new york and the united nations. their unlikely relationship. it is talking about how the un found its place in new york amongst some controversy. and then when they donate land it cemented its place in its current location. it is a cool book with some sidebars. like a restaurant open to the public.if you make a
reservation 24 hours in advance. a lot of people do not know that. the original home of the general secretary was in flushing queens. >> what else to have coming out? >> we have another book called left bank of the hudson. people think of soho and williamsburg as this enclave gentrified by artists and then blend into these mega ãthere is also -- outside of that we have this really neat book on google books and it is a translation from the french. those are the three lead books. that's what would you consider on the university press? >> we are very known in humanities and social sciences. particularly theology but their interdisciplinary titles. they intermingle.