An Australian doctrinal concept for Special Warfare: Lessons and Considerations
The clear conclusion from the Australian (and Western) experience is that special warfare — the conduct of operations with local partners — is difficult, time-consuming and must be tailored to the subtle nuances of the cultural environment. The relevant literature presents a strong argument that specific training, development opportunities, selection criteria and career streaming should be utilised to build a mature Australian special warfare capability. This is contrary to the way in which Australia has deployed forces during recent operations, and therefore requires detailed analysis before it can be considered.
This paper launches this conversation by offering ‘best practice’ recommendations for the conduct of special warfare, and providing an initial reference for those assigned to mentor Iraqi forces or undertake international engagement activities with like-minded security partners.
About the Author: Major Andrew Maher is an infantry officer with a particular interest in operations conducted by, with and through foreign forces as a result of his operational experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. He holds a Masters of Defence Studies from the University of New South Wales, Canberra, has commanded a platoon on operational service and is currently serving as a company commander.
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