A Theory of Special Operations: The Origins, Qualities, and Use of SOF

Authored by:
Robert Spulak
Published on 10/1/2007
Digital Only

Building on Rear Admiral William McRaven's seminal work "Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice," Dr. Spulak expands McRaven's theory beyond direct action and small raid concepts and builds a theory of SOF looking at SOF as a whole and across the spectrum of operations. He focuses on SOF attributes and how they allow SOF to accomplish missions beyond the capabilities of conventional forces. Through the prism of the principles of war, the author argues SOF's inherent capabilities allow them to overcome the risk and obstacles that would preclude conventional forces from undertaking the mission.