BTiP 2022, nr 3 – Artykuł 10

Stronger together: the integration of a nation’s special operations forces and voluntary-based formations in comprehensive and total defence

Derek Jones | Col. (Ret.), US Army Special Forces, Vice President, Valens Global
ORCID 0000-0002-1626-8760

Brian Mehan | Lt. Col. (Ret.), US Army Special Forces, Director of Business Operations, Valens Global
ORCID 0000-0002-9878-4557

„Bezpieczeństwo. Teoria i Praktyka”, 3/2022, s. 141-155
DOI 10.48269/2451-0718-btip-2022-3-010
PDF: English

Abstract: Special operations forces (SOF) have a history of integrating with voluntary-based formations (VBF) overseas against a wide variety of threats. Despite the historical record, the current doctrine does not provide any applicable concepts to inform SOF-VBF integration. This study aims to fill this doctrinal gap and explores the concepts of a nation applying its SOF-VBF to its own comprehensive defence or total defence to make any territorial incursion or occupation too costly for an adversary. Using a mixture of qualitative and comparative research methodologies, based on secondary historical resistance sources, this study achieves four goals: defining the purpose behind SOF-VBF integration during resilience and resistance; establishing a seven-option SOF-VBF integration framework at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels; assessing these options based on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks of each to inform the implementation; and finally addressing overarching risks common to all options to inform broader risk mitigation measures. The result is seven integration options focused specifically on resilience and resistance to invasion and occupation. This paper will assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks of each. This study sets the stage for future analysis and additional research on this important topic.
Key words: voluntary-based formations (VBF), special operations forces, total defence, comprehensive defence, command and control