Monday, November 30, 2015

Commander Of U.S. Special Operations Command: ‘Gray Zone’ Conflicts Far More Complex To Combat

Commanding General of U.S. Special Operations Command Gen. Joseph Votel.

Tampa Tribune: ‘Gray Zone’ conflicts far more complex to combat, says Socom chief Votel

TAMPA — Between peace and all-out war exists the Gray Zone.

To Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, the Gray Zone is a familiar place of ambiguity. It’s a place where the Islamic State operates. A place where Russia has taken on Ukraine.

And it’s home to many other spots, hot, lukewarm or otherwise, around the globe.

“The Gray Zone,” said Votel, “really defines this area between ... for the most part healthy economic, political competition between states, and open warfare.”

It’s a place, he said, where “actors, sometimes state actors and sometimes non-state actors, act in a manner just below what would normally take us into normal open warfare.”

In September, Socom, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, issued a paper on Gray Zone challenges. The paper says that while traditional war might have been the dominant means of deadly conflict, Gray Zone challenges have now become the norm, and that countering foes like the former Soviet Union in many ways proved far less complex than taking on current adversaries.

WNU Editor: This is not an easy subject to discuss or comment on. I need to think about it, and yes .... I will be posting more on this topic at a future date because I do not think we are winning these conflicts .... not even close.

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