40th IFPA-Fletcher Conference
Positioning Special Operations for Global Challenges

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

7:30 am - 8:30 am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am – 8:45 am

Conference Welcome and Introduction

Dr. Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr., President, IFPA, and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

8:45 am – 9:15 am

Opening Remarks

Admiral William McRaven, USN, Commander, USSOCOM

9:15 am – 9:45 am

Keynote Remarks

The Honorable Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense

9:45 am – 11:15 am

Session 1
Leveraging USSOCOM and SOF to Meet 21st Century Challenges

This session will describe the emerging twenty-first-century strategic setting, its impact on future defense planning priorities, and the rising requirement for special operations capabilities. Priorities for capacity building and security cooperation with key regional allies and partner countries will be addressed, along with the need for a whole-of-government comprehensive approach. The potential impact of future budget cuts on SOF development and USSOCOM operations will also be assessed.

  • Identifying key security challenges at the regional and transnational levels
  • The rising strategic importance of preventive planning and smart engagement
  • Implications for capacity building and security cooperation with regional allies and partner countries
  • The need for a whole-of-government and comprehensive approach
  • The potential impact of new strategic guidance and defense budget cuts
Panel Members
  • Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, Vice Chair, Hills & Company International Consultants; former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Michèle A. Flournoy, Board of Directors, Center for a New American Security; former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Transcript
  • Robert D. Kaplan, Chief Geopolitical Analyst for Stratfor
  • Ambassador Frederick “Rick” Barton, Assistant Secretary and Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization Operations, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization
    Operations, U.S. Department of State
  • James Thomas, Vice President and Director of Studies, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Session 2
Service and Combatant Command (COCOM) Perspectives on SOF Requirements and Operations

This session will explore in greater depth specific service and COCOM requirements for SOF capabilities and operations. Emphasis will be placed on opportunities for leveraging SOF more effectively in support of key geographic combatant commands (GCCs), and how USSOCOM, working with the GCCs, various component commands, and service leaderships, can support U.S. theater engagement and operational planning objectives.

  • NATO and the Euro-Atlantic
  • Asia-Pacific
  • North and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Central/South America and the Caribbean
Panel Members
  • Admiral William McRaven, USN, Commander, USSOCOM
  • General John F. Kelly, USMC, Commander, U.S. Southern Command
  • Vice Admiral Charles J. “Joe” Leidig, Jr., USN, Deputy Commander for Operations, U.S. Africa Command
  • Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus, USN, Commander, U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command Transcript
  • Rear Admiral Robert P. Girrier, USN, Director of Operations (J3), U.S. Pacific Command
  • Brigadier General Darsie D. Rogers, Jr., USA, Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
  • Rear Admiral Kerry Metz, USN, Interim Commander, Special Operations Command, U.S. Central Command Transcript

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm


2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Session 3
Working with the Interagency, IGOs/NGOs, and Other Global Partners to Build Regional Security

This session will examine the broader challenges for DoD and USSOCOM in developing a “whole of government” approach that includes the U.S. Interagency, IGOs and other international stakeholders, as well as NGOs and other private sector groups to create and empower a global SOF “network of networks.”

  • DoD and SOCOM coordination with state, USAID, and other interagency partners
  • Leveraging SOF partnerships with IGOs/NGOs and other stakeholders to address transnational security challenges
  • Exploring new opportunities for USSOCOM with public-private partnerships
  • Creating and empowering a global SOF network of networks
Panel Members
  • Stephen Flanagan, Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy, National Security Staff, the White House
  • Greg Kausner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security and Arms Transfers, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
  • Beth Cole, Director, USAID's Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation Transcript
  • Thomas Debass, Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. Sarah B. Sewall, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board Transcript
  • Dr. Michele Malvesti, Lecturer and Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, and Vice President in the National Security Sector, Science Applications International Corporation Transcript

4:15 pm – 6:00 pm

Session 4
Allied/Regional Partner Views on Building a Global SOF Network

This session will be organized as a panel discussion among CHOD and/or senior-level MoD/FORMIN representatives from allied and partner countries that are central to the development of an effective global SOF network. Each panelist would discuss the issues listed below most relevant to their SOF-related experiences and requirements, highlighting opportunities for (and potential hindrances to) broader regional collaboration.

  • Lessons learned from recent multinational and multilateral operations
  • Dealing with potential regional roadblocks to cross-border and trans-regional collaboration
  • Understanding and managing socio-cultural and historical sensitivities that may complicate SOF collaboration
  • Strengthening and leveraging allied/partner capabilities more effectively
  • Identifying regional platforms for promoting a global SOF network
Panel Members
  • The Honorable Jorge Enrique Bedoya Viscaya, Vice Minister of International Policy and Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, Colombia
  • Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador to the United States, Singapore
  • Dr. Camille Grand, Director, Foundation for Strategic Research, France
  • Major General Yaacov Ayish, Defense and Armed Forces Attaché, Embassy of Israel
  • Brigadier General Ousmane Kane, Chief of Staff, Air Force, Senegal
  • Rear Admiral Javier Romero, Defense Attaché, Embassy of Spain

6:00 – 7:30 pm


Thursday, June 6, 2013

7:30 am - 9:00 am

Continental Breakfast

9:00 am – 9:30 am

Opening Keynote Address

The Honorable Michael Sheehan, Assistant Secretary, Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC), U.S. Department of Defense

9:30 am – 10:30 pm

Session 5
Strategies for Implementing a Global SOF Network - Part 1

This session focuses on what more needs to be done to implement USSOCOM’s vision of a global SOF network. Key topics for discussion include the educational requirements for future SOF leaders, the need to institutionalize civil-military coordination at all levels, establishing better mechanisms for promoting SOF collaboration within and across regions, and developing ways to expedite the acquisition process to support SOF forces. Plausible over-the-horizon challenges that could complicate the creation and effective utilization of a global SOF network would also be explored.

  • The role of intelligence sharing in building a global SOF network
  • Educating and training the next generation of SOF leaders
  • Institutionalizing civil-military coordination in support of the indirect approach at the national and international levels
  • Linking mechanisms for SOF cooperation within and across regions and AORs
  • Expediting the R&D and acquisition process
  • Anticipating over-the-horizon complications and plausible work-arounds
Part 1 Panel Members
  • Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, USA, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Brian F. McCauley, Deputy Assistant Director, International Operations Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Vice Admiral Michael LeFever, USN, Deputy Director, Strategic Operational Planning, National Counterterrorism Center

10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Session 5
Strategies for Implementing a Global SOF Network - Part 2

Part 2 Panel Members
  • Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland, Jr., USA, Deputy Commander, USSOCOM
  • Vice Admiral Teodoro E. López Calderón, Commander, Spanish Joint Operations Command
  • Major General Christophe Gomart, Commander, French Special Operations Command
  • Brigadier-General Denis Thompson, Commander, Canadian Special Operations Forces

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Concluding Luncheon with Keynote Speaker

Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), Chairman, U.S. House Armed Services Committee