Thursday, May 23, 2019

What exactly is the role of SOCOM in a peer vs peer fight? If you tell me building partnerships then you have no role!

Marine Times posted an article that discusses the future of Marine Raiders and their role in a peer vs peer fight.  At the end I'll point out my issues with the General's talk.
Maj. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, the commander of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, or MARSOC, was responding to a question from an audience member at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Florida, regarding worries from industry leaders about making equipment for the Raiders, especially if the unit was on the chopping block.

“I don’t think so," Yoo said, noting there may even be “potential” for growth. “In our short history we’ve come a long ways.”

That growth may come from Raider enablers known as special operations capability specialists, who are cut to MARSOC for a tour of duty and eventually return to their primary occupation within the Marine Corps, Yoo told Marine Corps Times in an interview.
Once again the tail wags the dog?  Even more support is going to be drawn from the conventional side of the house to enable MARSOC?

Sorry but that sounds like a non-starter!  But gets even more curious...
 “I think the special operations community is uniquely suited to build networks of partners and allies around the globe to put us in a position, first of all, to compete for that influence and legitimacy in peacetime,” Clarke told lawmakers.
The only part about this talk that's a bit refreshing is that the General's eye are focused firmly on China.

What disturbs is that he hasn't laid out a rationale for the expanded force he foresees.

Are we seriously back to the "building partnerships and relationships" talking point?

What I want to know is how MARSOC will support the Marine Corps in a rough and tough rumble with China.  Where do they see themselves on the battlefield.

The answer is simple.

In a conventional fight there simply isn't a real role for SOCOM/MARSOC!  In Desert Storm they made their hay hunting Scuds but that was a loss in the effectiveness column...a mission fail if you like.

In Syria they were the supported entity and that was at best inconclusive.  Same goes for Afghanistan if we're being generous (although that's looking like a loss).

McRaven fought for and won SOCOM being a supported force.  But have they delivered?

Not so sure.

I know their are SOCOM boosters in my readership so I simply ask this.  Fill General Yoo's shoes and tell me what the role is for MARSOC in a future fight. Take it one step further and tell me where you see SOCOM in a peer vs peer conflict with China or Russia!

I'm dragging on but do you remember the talk about possible conflict with N. Korea?  Do you remember some of the talk about raids to recover nukes from that country?  That shit sounded like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. If that alternate history actually came to pass then you'd probably see entire Ranger/MARSOC Battalions destroyed!

The only major conflict on the horizon that I can see SOCOM playing a role in is against Iran and I believe the casualty figures for a raid on one of their nuke facilities to be the same as N. Korea.  Whole battalions destroyed with numerous aircraft shot down.

If that's true then how would they fare against China/Russia.

Long short?  SOCOM has had its time in the sun.  They fought hard and did the deed but it just didn't work out.  For better or worse they should return to their traditional role, the role they had before the war on terror.  They should be a supporting, not supported element.

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