Lessons from Afghanistan: The Future of Special Operations Forces

04 Mar 2014


Once primarily the subject of video games and popular novels, Special Forces have once again captured America’s attention. In the wake of Operation Neptune Spear, a mission that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, the now famous Seal Team Six is one facet of the growing curiosity about what these advanced and highly skilled units do on a daily basis.

Particularly in Afghanistan, Special Operations teams continue to be a critical component when combating an insurgency that has proven to be as resilient as it is determined. The Special Operations playbook is expanding from top secret missions to public relations — and virtually everything in between.

In One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare, RAND senior analyst Linda Robinson explores the nature of Special Operations in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan as well as its general role in 21st century American power projection. While the philosophy behind “Special Ops” dates back millennia, the utilization, training, methods, and objectives have perhaps never been more compelling.

What role will Special Operations play as the U.S. navigates a shifting geopolitical order? Whither Special Forces as U.S. military and power projection meet 21st century challenges? Join the World Affairs Council and a veteran security analyst for an exploration of a captivating and evolving element of American warfighting.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 8:00am to 9:30am
Sponsored By: 
World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
Rivers Club, 301 Grant Street