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Turse-Nation 2017

American Special Operations Forces Are Deployed to 70 Percent of the World’s Countries


sof deployment

  author={Nick Turse},
  title={ American Special Operations Forces Are Deployed to 70 Percent of the World’s Countries},
  journal={The Nation},
  note={[Online, accessed 2017/03/03]},

"From Albania to Uruguay, Algeria to Uzbekistan, America’s most elite forces—Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets among them—were deployed to 138 countries in 2016, according to figures supplied to TomDispatch by US Special Operations Command."

"This total, one of the highest of Barack Obama’s presidency, typifies what has become the golden age of, in SOF-speak, the “gray zone”—a phrase used to describe the murky twilight between war and peace."

"[Defense Secretary Carter] noted that “today we were looking at a number of the Special Operations forces’ assault capabilities. This is a kind of capability that we use nearly every day somewhere in the world... And it’s particularly relevant to the counter-ISIL campaign that we’re conducting today.”

" In Afghanistan, alone, Special Operations forces conducted 350 raids targeting Al Qaeda and Islamic State operatives last year, averaging about one per day..."

" “[I]t is important to understand why SOF has risen from footnote and supporting player to main effort, because its use also highlights why the U.S. continues to have difficulty in its most recent campaigns—Afghanistan, Iraq, against ISIS and AQ and its affiliates, Libya, Yemen, etc. and in the undeclared campaigns in the Baltics, Poland, and Ukraine—none of which fits the US model for traditional war,” said retired Lieutenant General Charles Cleveland, chief of US Army Special Operations Command from 2012 to 2015 and now a senior mentor to the chief of staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group."

"" Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq and ongoing CT [counterterrrorism] efforts elsewhere, SOF continues to work with partner nations in counterinsurgency and counterdrug efforts in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.”"

"Most Special Operations forces, however, work with local partners, conducting training exercises and engaging in what the military calls “building partner capacity” (BPC) and “security cooperation” (SC)."

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