Ideas

Don’t Think of Syrian Opposition Groups as ‘Moderates’ vs. ‘Extremists’

The United States and its allies ought to think in terms of 'viable partners,’ ‘irreconcilables,’ and ‘unknowns.’

Threats

‘I Want to Finish This’: US Special Ops Leaders Urge Washington to Stick by the Syrian Kurds

Commanders inside Syria say rebels are doing all they hoped for — and are the best shot to break the region's cycle of terrorism.

Threats

The US Must Rethink How It Uses Special Operators, Says Incoming SOLIC Secretary

Strained by war, the military’s elite units can’t grow any faster nor deploy slower. Something in their mission set must give.

Ideas

I Could Kill You with a Consumer Drone

As a former intelligence soldier who now sells drones for a living, I can tell you that this problem is bigger than almost anyone realizes.

Threats

The US Joins the Philippines in a Battle Against ISIS

The news of the cooperation is significant, because the country’s president had previously threatened to kick out U.S. troops.

Ideas

How American Special Operators Gradually Returned to Somalia

A U.S. soldier was killed in the country this month for the first time in more than two decades. What was he doing there?

Science & Tech

Air Force Wants to Test a Laser on an Attack Plane Within A Year

But the U.S. Special Operations Command still needs money for the test and policymakers need to figure out the rules of engagement.

Science & Tech

Counter-Terror Chief: Expect Terrorist Drone Swarms 'Soon'

An upcoming competition will spotlight systems for downing enemy UAVs attacking solo or in groups.

Science & Tech

The Man who led the Syrian Train-and-Equip Effort Wants A Cultural Translation App

The complex, delicate missions of today and tomorrow need a better way to bring fused intelligence to operators.

Ideas

SOCOM Will Soon Lead the Pentagon’s Anti-WMD Efforts. Here’s What It Still Needs.

America’s special operators know how to catch bomb-makers, but need new expertise on other areas of the fight.

Ideas

The Right — and Wrong — Lessons of Trump’s Yemen Raid

Americans have to allow its elite men and women to be aggressive, to take risks, and to, on occasion, fall short.

Threats

Don’t Blame Trump for the Yemen Raid’s Outcome

There’s more to the story, from special operators who chafed at Obama administration micromanagement to the unexpected well-prepared enemies who lay in wait.

Ideas

No Turning Back? First Woman Makes Army’s Elite 75th Ranger Regiment, Big Step For Women in Combat

One woman just made it that much harder for anyone to argue women don't belong in America's most elite combat positions.

Threats

US Special Operators Accelerate Killings of ISIS Leaders

Defense Secretary Ash Carter says this will weaken Mosul’s defenders and stop attacks in the United States.

Ideas

The Hidden Costs of America's Addiction to Mercenaries

Washington’s reliance on unheralded private military contractors to fight its wars has mutated into a strategic vulnerability.

Threats

America’s New Special Operations Commander Wants to Predict the Future

With so many elite troops fighting ‘an extremist phenomenon that’s gone rabid’ in failed states, Gen. Tony Thomas wants to get his operators ahead of the curve.

Ideas

A Cyber JSOC Could Help the US Strike Harder and Faster

A network-attack analogue to the manhunting Joint Special Operations Command would allow cyber warriors to decide, deconflict, and execute more effectively.

Ideas

How NATO Can Disrupt Russia's New Way of War

Here are a few things the West can do against Moscow’s potent combo of special forces and electronic warfare.

Ideas

Look Out, Special Operators in Syria, the Internet Has Spotted You and That's a Problem

It's not only the improvement of an airstrip in Northeast Syria that warrants attention, but how it was discovered.

Threats

Here’s How US Special Operations Command Views Libya

The next battleground in the war on ISIS is forming in the sands of Tripoli.