JSOU PUBLICATIONS

These recent JSOU Press publications are available electronically in the JSOU Library Management System:https://jsou.libguides.com/jsoupublications.

Special Operations Forces Mixed-Gender Elite Teams
by William Knarr, Jessica Glicken Turnley, Dona J. Stewart, Rich Rubright, and Jason Quirin

On 24 January 2013, the US secretary of defense (SecDef) rescinded the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule (DCAR), which excluded women from assignment to units and positions whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground. In doing so, the SecDef directed the opening of all occupational specialties, positions, and units to women; the validation of gender-neutral standards for those positions; and the establishment of milestones for implementation. In a March 2013 memorandum, the Commander USSOCOM directed several initiatives as a result of the SecDef's DCAR rescission. While other studies examined individual performance and standards, the JSOU Center for Special Operations Studies and Research examined the effects of these changes on team dynamics. The challenge for this study was to determine whether changing the gender component of special operations forces elite teams from single-gender (masculine) to mixed-gender would affect team dynamics in a way that would compromise the ability of the team to meet a mission objective.


Improving the Sustainment of SOF Distributed Operations in Access-Denied Environments
by Robert Haddick

In this monograph, Robert Haddick examines a variety of emerging technologies and techniques that could improve the sustainment and effectiveness of distributed SOF operations, especially in access-denied environments. He begins by presenting a challenging yet plausible notional unconventional warfare campaign scenario. He describes how current SOF planners would attempt to cope with this scenario under current doctrine and sustainment capabilities, and explores current and emerging technologies that could provide new options and capabilities. Finally, he evaluates new technologies that promise to reduce logistic demand for distributed SOF operations. Haddick proposes research and development projects that would provide SOF with capabilities that improve their capacity to execute clandestine UW campaigns in denied areas. This monograph helps close the gap between current conditions and what will be necessary in an access-denied future.


SOF Role in Combating Transnational Organized Crime
edited by William Mendel and Peter McCabe

In April 2015, military and civilian personnel from Canada, Mexico, and the United States came together at Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a symposium hosted by US Special Operations Command-North and facilitated by Joint Special Operations University and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. Their task was to examine the role of SOF in combating transnational organized crime (TOC). The panelists and plenary participants considered a wide range of issues related to the TOC threat. After the symposium concluded, panelists and speakers synthesized the results of their research and panel discussions into articles for publication. Those articles are found in the chapters of this proceedings report. The implication for SOF is that they must continue to train to meet the strategic challenges ahead. This will require forward-deployed units that are engaged with their counterparts in host countries because TOC is both a threat to, and a result of, weak, emerging democratic governments. These governments can benefit from engagement. Readiness to conduct all SOF core activities will remain a priority.


Rethinking Special Operations Leadership:
Process, Persuasion, Pre-existing, and Personality
by Paul S. Lieber

In this paper, Dr. Lieber describes leadership characteristics through the lens of special operations. By exploring the importance of process, persuasion, pre-existing schemata, and personality nuances on special operations leadership training and execution, along with additional traits or characteristics necessary for success, Dr. Lieber looks beyond the traditional definitions of military leadership. The first section explores process and adaptation to innovation. Organizations must innovate, but it is the leader's responsibility to make certain that innovation is both appropriate and matched to an established goal. The next section studies the leader's power of persuasion and the ability to nuance messaging and influence desirable opinions and consensus building. The third part explores pre-existing schemata and provides recommendations to avoid cognitive dissonance. In the final section, Dr. Lieber takes a look at how personality differences can affect and enhance teams that are composed of diverse personality types. Dr. Lieber is an award-winning scholar and practitioner in the field of global strategic communication. Currently a resident senior fellow at JSOU, he previously served as the command writer for two USSOCOM commanders.


The War Within: A Look Inside al-Qaeda's Undoing
by Jarret Brachman

In this monograph, Dr. Brachman delves into al Qaeda's crumbling global movement and its internal struggles, including its attempts to remain relevant in the shadow of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Brachman cites various internal writings of al Qaeda's past and present leaders, thinkers, and supporters. It becomes clear that this once dominant terrorist organization has changed in the post-bin Laden era, becoming fractured and taking a backseat to ISIL. Brachman analyzes letters, blog posts, and social media comments from various ranks within al Qaeda that show the discontent, frustration, and confusion the once prominent terrorist organization has faced in recent years. Although struggling, al Qaeda remains a serious threat and maintains a global footprint. But as ISIL gains more publicity, al Qaeda has more trouble competing for followers, funding, and attention. This monograph explores al Qaeda's recent efforts to make sense of itself.

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