This all sounds familiar -TTG

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – A Green Beret with 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) relays the coordinate of an enemy position during Exercise Lightning Forge, Oct. 18, 2021 on Oahu Island. Green Beret’s used this training as an opportunity to hone their skills while supporting 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division during a large-scale combat scenario.

Stavros Atlamazoglou Nov 18, 2021, 8:30 AM in Business Insider

US special operators played an instrumental role in the fight against terrorists over the past 20 years. But the Pentagon is shifting its focus to preparing for a potential war with China and Russia. The US special operations community is looking for ways to remain relevant in a different type of conflict.

US special operators have played an instrumental role in the fight against terrorists and insurgent groups over the past 20 years. Now, as the Pentagon focuses on preparing for a conflict a near-peer or peer military, like China and Russia, the special operations community is looking for ways to remain relevant in a completely different type of war. Army special operations units are particularly concerned, as they make up most of the US Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) numbers.

During exercise Lighting Forge 21, Green Berets from the 1st Special Forces Group — which focuses on the Indo-Pacific area of operations — worked with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division out of Hawaii on the very basics of infantry operations: small-unit tactics. The Green Berets worked with their conventional counterparts on patrolling, conducting ambushes and raids, and reconnaissance and intelligence collection. According to the Army, the Special Forces operators focused their training on assisting their conventional brethren in a large-scale combat scenario. The Green Berets leveraged their proficiency on small-unit tactics “to disrupt enemy defenses, eliminate key targets, gather intelligence and provide increased maneuverability, improving the brigade’s ability to destroy the enemy.”

In a conventional war with China or Russia, ARSOF units can bring a lot to the table. Army special operators work with and through guerrillas and other local forces, and their approach allows them to develop an understanding of the area of operations in order to wield influence and provide information to other US forces. In a recent report on its strategic value in an era of great-power competition, US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) identified six ways Army special operators could contribute in a war with Russia and China. Their mission sets would include:

  • Long range infiltration in denied areas
  • Enable deep area fires
  • Recruit, train, equip, and lead local guerrillas in deep areas
  • Support conventional forces in close combat
  • Target and destroy anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) systems
  • Use special operations command and control to converge cross-domain capabilities in deep areas

These six mission sets are versions of current ARSOF capabilities tailored to the threats China or Russia would pose a war.

Comment: I found this article intriguing on two levels. First, I ran the 25th Division RECONDO school in 1980 to 1981. We were located in the East Range, composed mainly of mountain jungle. We spent much time running those ridges and rappelling into those valleys. Good times. In that terrain a brigade certainly could be swallowed up, although most of the brigade combat team would have to operate dismounted, in small units and with ropes if you’re moving cross compartment. Good training area for some South Pacific locations.

The second, more important, level is the similarity in what the 1st Special Forces Group teams were doing in this exercise with what we did in the 10th Special Forces Group in Europe in the 1980s. Our primary mission was to combat WTO forces in a conventional war. The mission sets were damned near identical to the mission sets outlined in the article and in the “Army Futures Command Concept for Special Operations 2028,” a publication outlining how Army special operations forces fit into Multi-Domain Operations. My team’s initial mission was to infiltrate southwest Poland, disrupt the command complex for the Northern Group of Forces, disrupt the SAM and EW belt in the area and conduct UW in support of NATO objectives. What we were asked to do, or at least attempt to do, is no different from what SF is expected to do during a confrontation with China in the Pacific or with Russia in Europe. The article mentions SF targeting Chinese A2/AD systems around the South China Sea and Russian A2/AD systems in Crimea.

The thought of one or more 10th Group teams developing target folders for Sevastopol stirs some Cold War dread, but we do have a habit of drawing up contingency plans for damned near any scenario, no matter how far fetched it sounds. I’m also buoyed by the conversation I had with Dr. Jerzy Wiatr in 1987. He was a Polish academician/politician involved in formulating and supporting WTO war plans. He assured me that although both sides had serious planners and even more serious men willing to carry out those plans, the deciders knew full well that war would be absolute folly and would mean the end of all of us. Anyone who was in a position to initiate such a war had no intention to ever do so.


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12 Responses to This all sounds familiar -TTG

  1. JerseyJeffersonian says:


    I certainly hope that your conclusory thoughts are correct, and will be adopted by Our Elites.

    Recall that the Austro-Hungarian Empire only wanted to execute a punitive expedition against Serbia in the wake of the assassination of the Archduke and his wife, but then all hell broke loose. One hopes that the world can finesse a way toward the coming, inevitable multi-polarity without such a blow-up. The only problem is, that the self-fancied World Hegemon (the US and its appended satrapies) has its continued viability bound up with the maintenance of the status quo, and is unreceptive to being taken down a peg. Tough noogies, O Wise Ones, you have already sacrificed national power on the altars of financialization of every damn thing, destruction of our industrial base, dilution of our demographics through the massive insertion of unsuitable groups completely disinterested in republican constitutional governance (gimme dats, hell yeah), evisceration of our educational system and historical sense, and promulgation of toxic cults such as Covidianism and White Supremacy.

    Here in the US, our so-called leaders have declared war by these means against half – if not more – of the populace; they want to grind us down to a greasy spot, and that is my definition of Total War. They want us powerless, immiserated, and without hope, so as you have been wont to say from time to time here, the shit is (already) on here. Not everyone who is being attacked recognizes this yet, but if They keep it up, they will, and when that happens things may not work out so well for Them.

    What better, time-tested measure for Them to reach for than a foreign war, faux-patriotism being after all the last refuge of scoundrels! Only this time, it wouldn’t be like the previously implemented throwing of some shitty little country against a wall, not when it is with a near-peer or full peer adversary. The Four Horsemen are saddling up, and nothing good follows in their wake.

    • TTG says:


      Our time in a bipolar world was only temporary. Our time in a seemingly unipolar world was even more fleeting and, in actuality, a mere mirage. Multipolarity has been the normal state of things for us for the majority of our existence. We’ll manage and so will the rest of the world. IMO, our biggest problem is the growing negative and self-centered attitudes of our people. Lighten up, people. We’ve been through worse.

  2. Sam says:


    I always imagined that our special forces were originally meant to be Lawrence in Arabia. Going native, training and orchestrating local forces, making it challenging for our adversary’s government. Was it ever like that? When did they become heavily armed door busters and other such movie type roles like killing OBL?

    I’ve been thinking if our adversaries could use a Lawrence in Arabia model to create uprisings and guerrilla war right here in the USA? Would that be possible? What measures would our government take to prevent and suppress such an instigated uprisings?

    We’re a divided nation and a few at least believe that the current political/media/governmental apparatus is antithetical to the founding vision and sliding into overt authoritarianism. It would seem that the US is the only western country where there remain a few who believe that there can be no tradeoff between liberty and safety/security.

    Talking that freedom talk with Tucker Carlson.

    Our American friends need to hold the line… 🇺🇸

    • Pat Lang says:

      Sam Since 9/11

    • TTG says:


      Aaron Bank created the 10th Special Forces Group to conduct UW in Europe. Going native, training and orchestrating local forces, as you aptly put it, was central to our European mission. It remained so when I was in Group. That’s why I became a 3+/3+ in Polish. We weren’t going to disrupt the Northern Group of Forces without local help. As Colonel Lang said, that changed after 9/11 with our fixation on killing jihadis. The old ways weren’t totally forgotten. Remember Jim Gant and “One Tribe at a Time”? But the spotlight was on the door kickers. We got to get back to our UW heritage. I’m pretty sure we will.

  3. Condottiere says:

    They need to bring back the old Alaskan National Guard Eskimo Scouts and deploy them with 10th Grp as far West as the Rat Islands and Near Islands in the Aleutians during the winter. Work on that FID with elite Inuit recon.

  4. Le Renard Subtil says:

    Recently learned quite a lot about your colleagues in the 39th SF Detachment (Berlin Brigade) which I thought was remarkable.

    1. In the 80s, as a measure to increase its operational security, the unit was assigned cover as a specialized MP unit which was tasked with providing “vulnerability assessments” of selected EURCOM sites such as barracks and signals stations.

    2. Operators from this unit, performed all of the advance force operations/reconnaissance (months worth) of the embassy and foreign ministry complex during the Tehran hostage crisis. There was three of them. CIA was essentially non-existent.

    3. The UW and strategic reconnaissance mission in Europe…Small groups of two or three, or even singletons clandestinely moving about and creating havoc.

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