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linda robinson

Killing Is Not Enough: Special Operators

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ARLINGTON: “We have, in my view, exquisite capabilities to kill people,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland. “We need exquisite capabilities to manipulate them.” Psychological subtlety and the US military don’t always go hand-in-hand. Worldwide, we’ve become better known for drone strikes and Special Operations raids to kill High Value Targets. But that wasn’t enough for the last 13… Keep reading →

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Train Afghans, Corrall Al Qaeda: America’s Enduring Mission in Afghanistan

Posted by Linda Robinson on


The commander of US Special Operations Command, Adm. William McRaven, will deliver the keynote speech this morning at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict conference. One of the most respected analysts of special forces, Linda Robinson of the RAND Corp., wants to send a message to the admiral’s bosses and to Congress: special operations… Keep reading →

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Five Profound Choices Special Ops Face Next Year

Posted by Linda Robinson on


    U.S. special operations forces face decisions of profound consequence in 2014 after having been empowered by a series of policy directives taken over the past year. One of these directives has been, contrary to the caricature of unilateral commando forces popularized by video games such as Call of Duty, an unequivocal message from… Keep reading →

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Somali Raid: The Long, Quiet Campaign Behind Friday’s SEAL Strike

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Friday’s Navy SEAL raid aimed at capturing the Somali terrorist known as Ikrimah is a glimpse at the future of American warfare, one where a small US combat presence is boosted by widescale support to local forces who bear the brunt of the fighting. The raid itself came like a blitzkrieg from the blue… Keep reading →

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After ’10 Years Of Abject Failure,’ Army, SOCOM, Marine Leaders Focus On ‘Strategic Landpower’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT BELVOIR: Under the shadow of sequestration and a Navy/Air Force-dominated “Pacific Pivot,” representatives of the Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Command met to discuss the future of what they’re calling “strategic landpower.” Before I sat in on the first session of the conference, I’d thought “strategic landpower” boiled down to the conventional “Big Army”… Keep reading →

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Special Ops Office Needs To Grow; Meet Adm. McRaven’s Favorite Pundit, Linda Robinson

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: When Linda Robinson speaks, special operators listen. The “silent professionals” are — for good reason — traditionally tight-lipped. The chief of Special Operations Command, Adm. William McRaven, proved that again today during a panel at the Wilson Center, giving eloquent non-answers to questions about what might transpire in Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen. But McRaven… Keep reading →

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Special Operations: What New Powers They Need From Congress & Pentagon

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: America’s commandos have been darlings of the Congress, Pentagon, and the media since 9/11. Now, as Special Operations Forces reorient from Iraq and Afghanistan to lower-profile missions worldwide in places like Mali, they will need new sources of funding and new legal authorities — changes that may rub both Congress and the four armed… Keep reading →

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