Threats

The Taliban is No ‘Partner,’ Says Top US Special Ops Commander

After withdrawing, the US must rely on other Afghans and foreign governments for intelligence to track and target ISIS-K.

Science & Tech

US Air Force Developing Combat Tanker-Airlifter that Can Land on Water

In a conflict with China, aircraft will need flexibility in basing, and that means water takeoffs, landings.

Science & Tech

SOCOM Members Got an All-Star Crash Course in AI

Over a unique six-week course, participants met virtually with tech leaders to talk about AI's future.

Science & Tech

Army SOF Units Are Getting Smaller, More Self-Reliant as Focus Shifts to China, Russia

New adversaries, warfare concepts, and gear are also driving special operators to become more tech-savvy.

Science & Tech

Tough Conditions and Contested Communication Are Forcing the US Military To Reinvent AI

Those miracle apps on your phone are powered by cloud computing and high-bandwidth data transfer. What does AI look like when those features are missing?

Ideas

Defense One Radio, Ep. 81: The future of Afghanistan

Ben Watson talks with Greg, a Green Beret medic who served in Afghanistan, and with Long War Journal's Bill Roggio.

Ideas

ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s Sub-Saharan Affiliates Are Poised for Growth in 2021

A rundown on jihadi groups’ expansion in the Sahel and Nigeria, the Horn of Africa, and the continent’s southeastern Swahili coast.

Business

New Plane Key to Special Ops Vision for Africa, General Says 

Air Force Special Operations Command is planning flight demonstrations in coming months.

Science & Tech

AI Is Reshaping the US Approach to Gray-Zone Ops

Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools aren’t just for big hot wars, but also for places where the battle lines aren’t clear.

Ideas

There's No Easy Fix For Australia's Special Forces Culture

A blistering war crimes report is forcing us to take stock of what the Australian Defence Force asks of its soldiers.

Ideas

As Spotlight Fades, What Next for Special Operators?

Under Trump, the Pentagon's ‘service secretary’ in charge of SOF has changed hands eight times between seven people.

Ideas

Look at Great Power Competition Through a Special Operations Lens

Most of this competition is far short of combat, which makes the principles and expertise of SOF keenly relevant.

Science & Tech

How AI Will Soon Change Special Operations

A new SOCOM office is pursuing tools to understand and influence populations, clear rooms with robots, and spot new forms of jamming.

Science & Tech

Special Operations Command Made a Mind-Reading Kit For Elite Troops

The experimental tool is among several that aim to combine sensors and AI to give U.S. operators a new edge.

Science & Tech

US Is Moving Too Slowly to Harness Drones and AI, Former SOCOM Commander Says

Tony Thomas says he wishes he’d spent less time growing his command and more time pushing it to embrace new technology.

Ideas

Betraying The Kurds Makes Things Harder for US Operators Everywhere

It will henceforth be much more difficult for U.S. combat forces and advisors to get help from local partners around the world.

Ideas

‘Silent Warriors’ Speak Out Against Trump’s Syria Turnaround

America’s elite special operators are breaking their wall of silence like never before, 'betrayed' by Trump’s decision to pull back in Syria and erase years of hard work. But are they too late?