In the post-9/11 security environment, special operations
forces (SOF) have proven indispensable. SOF units are light,
lethal, mobile, and easily networked with other forces. While the
United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
allies have extensive SOF capabilities, these forces are not formally
organized to collaborate with one another. There would
be much to gain if U.S. and allied SOF trained to work together:
national SOF assets would be improved, obstacles to effective
combined operations would be removed, and a coherent Alliance
capability would be readily available for NATO.
The Alliance can focus and grow its SOF capabilities by providing
a selective and small combined “inner core” of NATO special
operations forces for operations, while using an outer network to
expand and improve SOF cooperation with interested allies.
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