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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

8:30 am – 8:45 am

Welcome by IFPA/Fletcher

8:45 am – 9:15 am

Opening Remarks
Admiral William McRaven, USN, Commander, USSOCOM

9:15 am – 9:45 am

Keynote Remarks

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

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

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Lunch with Congressional Speaker

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

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

6:00 – 7:30 pm


Thursday, June 6, 2013

9:00 – 9:30 am

Opening Address

9:30 am – 11:00 am

Session 5
Strategies for Implementing a Global SOF Network

This session will focus 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 will also be explored.

  • 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

11:15 am – 12:30 pm

Session 6
Conference Summary and Wrap-up Discussion (open to the press)

This final session will feature an opening briefing by USSOCOM on key issues raised and conclusions reached during the conference, followed by a period of open discussion among all attendees. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and explore SOF-related issue areas not fully addressed previously in the conference proceedings.

12:45 pm – 2:30 pm

Concluding Luncheon with Keynote Speaker