Outside the Box: A New General Theory of Special Operations

Authored by:
Tom Searle
Published on 7/1/2017

In this monograph, volume two of three, Dr. Tom Searle articulates a general theory of special operations. In his view, robust special operations are not niche specialties, but unconventional operations that may range to the full extent of military authority and capability. He argues that this thinking reduces friction and clarifies the nature of special operations such that conventional forces are free to focus on fewer tasks. Searle also dedicates an appendix to illustrate how his general theory relates to other efforts. Readers are encouraged to examine all three volumes (Rich Rubright, Ph.D., Tom Searle, Ph.D., and the compendium edited by Peter McCabe, Ph.D.) with an open mind. These three volumes provide an opportunity for the reader to challenge their own preexisting positions, incorporate fresh perspectives, and perhaps think differently about what is necessary and sufficient for a special operations theory.

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