Special Operations/Irregular Warfare - Curriculum 699

Academic Associate

Gordon H. McCormick, Ph.D.

Code DA/Mc, Root Hall, Room 214

(831) 656-2933, DSN 756-2933

FAX (831) 656-2649

GMcCormick@nps.edu

Program Manager

Jennifer J. Duncan

Code DA, Root Hall, Room 219

(831) 656-3584, DSN 756-3584

jduncan@nps.edu

Brief Overview

The Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum is designed to provide a focused course of study of the conflict spectrum below general conventional war. Graduates of this curriculum will possess a thorough knowledge of the broad range of factors involved in the planning and conduct of these forms of conflict and a detailed understanding of the role of special operations and related forces in U.S. foreign and defense policy. The curriculum examines the sources and dynamics of inter-state and intra-state conflict; the challenge these forms of conflict have posed and are likely to increasingly pose for U.S. security planning; the doctrinal and institutional evolution of the U.S. special operations community; the recent history of political violence and “small wars"; the history of irregular warfare; and contemporary perspectives on low-intensity conflict resolution. The curriculum provides the graduate with a strong background in the areas of strategic analysis, decision making, organization theory, the technological revolution in military affairs, and advanced analytical methods.

Requirements for Entry

The Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum is open to all branches of the U.S. military, civilian employees of the U.S. Government, and international military and government officials. U.S. officers must be eligible for a TOP SECRET clearance with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information based on a Special Background Investigation completed within the last five years. A baccalaureate degree earned with above average academic performance and a minimum academic profile code (APC) of 265 is required.

Entry Date

The Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum is a six-quarter course of study with entry dates in January and June. If further information is needed, contact the Academic Associate or the Program Manager/Officer for this curriculum.

Degree

Requirements for the Master of Science in Defense Analysis degree are met as a milestone en route to satisfying the Educational Skill Requirements of the curricular program. The program currently offers 10 specialty tracks. Other specialty tracks can be tailored to meet student interests. The current tracks include Irregular Warfare, Information Operations, Terrorist Operations and Financing, Strategic Forecasting and Decision Making, Operations Analysis, C4I Systems, Combat Systems, Financial Management, National Security Affairs (Regional Studies) and National Security Affairs (Stability/Reconstruction).

Master of Science in Defense Analysis

The Master of Science in Defense Analysis degree will be awarded in accordance with the following degree requirements:

  1. This degree requires 45 quarter-hours of graduate-level work, of which 15 hours must represent courses at the 4000 level in at least two disciplines. Within the course program there must be a specialization sequence consisting of at least six courses.
  2. In addition to the 45 hours of course credit, an acceptable thesis must be completed.

The Department of Defense offers the Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum 699 and the Information Operations curriculum 698.

The Chairman of the Defense Analysis Department approves each individual program.

Subspecialty

Completion of the 699 curriculum qualifies an officer as a Special Operations Subspecialist with a subspecialty code of 2500P. The curriculum sponsor is the Commanding General, Special Operations Command.

U.S. Marine Corps officers completing this curriculum fulfill the requirements for MOS 8870.

Typical Subspecialty Jobs

Command Positions at the LTC/CDR level

Assistant Operations Officer, U.S. Army Special Forces Group

Staff Officer, Plans or Operations: USSOCOM

Action Officer, Counterterrorism Directorate, ASD (SO/LIC)

Staff Officer, Plans or Operations: Theater Special Operations Commands

Special Warfare Plans: CINCLANT/CINCPAC/NAVEUR

Chief, Intelligence/Plans: COMNAVSPECWARCOM

Joint Plans/Doctrine: COMNAVSPECWARCOM

Joint Staff Action Officer: J-3, Special Operations Directorate (J-3, DDSO)

Typical Course of Study

(Irregular Warfare Track)

Quarter 1

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA3802Seminar in Guerrilla Warfare

4

0

MN3121Organizational Design for Special Operations

4

0

DA2410Modeling for Military Decision Making, I

4

0

XXXXXXEmphasis Elective

0

4

Quarter 2

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA3882Deterrence, Coercion, & Crisis Management

4

0

DA3410Modeling for Special Operations II

4

0

DA3880History of Special Operations

4

0

DA3101Conflict in the Information Age

4

0

Quarter 3

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA4450

DA3750Anthropology of Conflict

4

0

DA4410Models of Conflict

4

0

DA48XXRegional Seminar in Low-Intensity Conflict (1st)

0

4

Quarter 4

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA3801International Terrorism

4

0

DA3102Psychological Warfare and Deception

4

0

DA3883The Rise, Transformation and Future of the Nation-State System

4

0

DA4835

Quarter 5

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA4760The Military Advisor

4

0

DA4500Special Topics in Strategic Analysis

4

0

DA4106Trust, Influence and Networks

4

0

DA0810Thesis Research

0

8

Quarter 6

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA4710Critical Thinking and Ethical Decision Making

4

0

DA48XXRegional Seminar in Low-Intensity Conflict (2nd)

0

4

XXXXXXEmphasis Elective

0

4

DA0810Thesis Research

0

8

DA48XX: Five courses in Low-Intensity Conflict covering different regions of the world will be offered; students will select two of the three.

Educational Skill Requirements (ESR)

Special Operations/Irregular Warfare - Curriculum 699

Subspecialty Code: 2500P

  1. Strategy and Policy: Graduates will develop an ability to think strategically, analyze past operations, and apply historical lessons to future joint and combined operations, in order to discern the relationship between a nation's political interests and goals and the ways military power may be used to achieve them. This requirement is fulfilled by completing the first of three Naval War College courses leading to Service Intermediate-level Professional Military Education (PME) and Phase I Joint PME credit. (Required only for USN and USMC students.)
  2. The Dynamics of Inter-State and Intra-State Conflict: Students will have an understanding of the political, ethnic, and cultural dynamics that explain the outbreak of war between and within modern states. Particular attention should be given to the issues of intra-state conflict; unconventional forms of inter-state military rivalry; the integrated role of force and diplomacy in crisis management operations short of war; problems of escalation in a crisis environment; military alliance behavior; the dynamic differences between zero-sum and nonzero-sum conflicts; the special problems associated with suppressing and resolving zero-sum engagements; and military and nonmilitary approaches to conflict resolution. Students must have a close understanding of the prevailing analytical literature on these and related subjects and be able to apply this literature to a broad range of contemporary and historical cases.
  3. Terrorism, Social Revolution, and Unconventional Warfare: Graduates will have a detailed understanding of the problems of domestic and international terrorism, social revolution, and other forms of irregular conflict. Close attention must be given to problems of both threat and response. The student must have a close knowledge of the prominent contending theoretical perspectives on the problems of terrorism and social revolution; a detailed knowledge of the operational and organizational dynamics underlying each of these forms of conflict; and a strong working understanding of the ways in which these and similar forms of irregular conflict have been countered historically. Where appropriate, the courses designed to satisfy this requirement should survey the U.S. experience in irregular warfare as well as that of other states that have been prominently engaged in such actions in the past, such as Great Britain, France, Israel, and the former Soviet Union.
  4. Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Special Operations: Students will have a close understanding of the historical use of special operations forces, to include how these and similar forces have been organized, trained, equipped, directed, and employed. Attention should be given not only to the U.S. experience, but to other national experiences as well, such as those of Great Britain, Germany, Italy, and the former Soviet Union. Similarly, this examination should not be restricted to contemporary history alone, but should extend back into the historical record to examine the ways in which special operations and related forces have been employed creatively to support state objectives in the more distant past. Throughout this inquiry, attention should be given to the contemporary lessons that can be drawn from historic experience.
  5. Special Operations Doctrine, Concepts, and Institutions: Graduates will have a detailed and conceptual understanding of the development of doctrine for special operations. Work in this area should focus, first, on the defining events and experiences that have stimulated doctrinal and institutional innovations in SO and, second, on the forms these innovations have taken. This examination should cover the period from the end of World War II through the post-Cold War era. These and related issues should be explored creatively in an effort to uncover the appropriate roles, missions, strengths, and limitations of military power in the emerging multipolar environment.
  6. Crisis Management and the Contingent Use of Military Power: Students will have an understanding of the political role played by military power in operations short of war, the problem of military crisis management, and the contingent use of force in support of local U.S. policy objectives. Attention should be given to the "signaling" role that can be played by military force, the special problems of deterrence and coercion in a crisis environment, and the military consequences of deterrence failure. The student should have a close knowledge of the historical record of "armed diplomacy" throughout the post-war period. This should include knowledge of the individual cases of U.S. military intervention in the Third World, from Lebanon (1958) to Somalia (1993). Attention should be given to both the theoretical and empirical literature on these subjects to provide the student with an understanding of the special political and operational issues associated with operating in a crisis environment.
  7. Comparative Cases of and Responses to Regional Conflict: Graduates will have a close knowledge of historical and contemporary "small wars" and other forms of low-intensity conflict in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. The courses that satisfy this requirement should examine the pertinent theoretical literature on political violence in the region in question, review the recent history of regionally-based terrorism, insurgency, and communal conflict, the regional and international implications of these conflicts, and any functional issues that are of particular interest or concern in the particular area under investigation, such as the religious or communal sources of political violence or the relationship between narcotics and insurgency.
  8. Special Operations and the Revolution in Military Affairs: Students will have an understanding of the ways in which the proliferation of new and emerging technologies is changing the shape of modern warfare. An important aspect of this requirement is to examine the likely impact of these developments on the dynamics and characteristics of twenty-first century warfare within both the inter-state and intra-state arena. The student must have a working knowledge of the major technological developments and trends in this area (both lethal and nonlethal) and their conflict implications.
  9. Special Operations and Information Warfare: Graduates will have an understanding of the likely and potential implications of information warfare on future special operations. An important aspect of this requirement is to examine the principles of information warfare and examine the ways in which SOF can contribute to U.S. information dominance on the twenty-first century battlefield. This examination should address the problem of information dominance at the inter-state and intra-state level of war.
  10. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferation and Counter-Proliferation: Students will have an understanding of the developing problem of WMD proliferation and counter-proliferation. Students may have a technical or operational perspective on WMD. The student must have an understanding of the political dynamics of WMD proliferation and an understanding of recent and possible future trends in these areas. Close attention should also be given to the problem of counter-proliferation and the ways in which SOF might approach this task. Students having a technical focus should have a working knowledge of nuclear and non-nuclear WMD technologies.
  11. Analytical Methods and Applications: Each student will receive grounding in analytical methods and their application to military modeling, simulations, and gaming. Close attention will be given to the ways in which such analytical techniques can be used as heuristic and decision-making tools for strategic and operational planning. Attention will be given to both historical and contemporary military applications, with particular focus on the ways in which such techniques can be used to address issues of interest to the special operations community.
  12. Strategic and Operational Complexity: Special Operations (SO) is a style of warfare. No traditional single academic discipline can adequately address the educational requirements of the SO community, so an interdisciplinary approach is required. Each student will develop a course of study that permits him or her to pursue a disciplinary orientation that best suits their particular academic background and interests within the substantive limits of the other ESRs.