Asked by The Universal Human and Civil Rights Union, from Brooklyn, New York
The Obama administration has increasingly relied on drones in its counterterrorist operations. And, as I explain in a recent CFR report, U.S. special operations forces are doing more things in more places than ever before. The heavy reliance on both drones and unilateral commando raids needs to be reassessed.
Speakers: Linda Robinson and Lieutenant General Frank Kearney Presider: Anya Schmemann
Former CFR adjunct senior fellow Linda Robinson and former deputy combatant commander of U.S. special operations forces Frank Kearney discuss Robinson's Council Special Report, "The Future of U.S. Special Operations."
Linda Robinson discusses her recently released Council Special Report, The Future of U.S. Special Operations Forces, which calls for conceptual, institutional, and operational changes to reorient U.S. special operations forces to ensure that they are employed to best effect.
Linda Robinson writes that the upcoming anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death highlights the continued need for a "more comprehensive approach to special operations as part of U.S. national security policy."
In the past ten years, U.S. special operations forces have honed their counterterrorism manhunting ability with great operational success. They now are at a critical inflection point in their development where resources should be realigned to successfully employ the other of their two basic capabilities—working alongside indigenous forces to combat national and transnational threats.
Speaker: Linda Robinson Presider: Jonathan D. Tepperman
With the film Zero Dark Thirty set to premiere this week, Linda Robinson, former CFR adjunct senior fellow and national security expert, discusses the future of U.S. special forces. In Robinson's Foreign Affairs essay, "The Future of Special Operations," she writes that the time has come to change the nature of special operations and go beyond drone strikes and kill-and-capture missions like the one that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. Instead, U.S. special forces should deprioritize this "direct approach" in favor of an "indirect approach."
Rather than focus on dramatic raids and high-tech drone strikes,special operations should refocus its attention on working with and through non-U.S. partners to accomplish security objectives, says Linda Robinson.
In her testimony before the House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Linda Robinson details how U.S. Special Operations Forces can be restructured to better confront global challenges.
This Congressional Research Servicereport details the background and issues surrounding Special Operations Forces (SOF), elite military units with special training and equipment that can infiltrate into hostile territory through land, sea, or air to conduct a variety of operations, many of them classified.
This Congressional Research Service report provides an overview of Special Operations Forces, elite military units with special training that can infiltrate into hostile territory to conduct a variety of operations, many of them classified.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »