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Resistance Operations: Challenges and Opportunities for Special Operations Forces
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Functions and Perspective Division.
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Functions and Perspective Division.
2022 (English)In: Journal on Baltic Security, ISSN 2382-9222, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 77-94Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to discuss how a state could best use its resources in resisting an aggressor when joint operations have failed. Focusing on the potential role of special operations forces (SOF) in resistance operations, the article examines scenarios where small states are attacked by a superior opponent. Based on the example of Sweden, currently still a militarily non-aligned country that nevertheless has adopted a security policy based on cooperation with other states, we explore how a small state not belonging to NATO might plan and prepare for alternative scenarios. Not being covered by Article 5, Sweden needs to be prepared to fight the war on its own. A better, but less likely, scenario would be fighting together with partners, at home, or in the near abroad. Since Ukraine shares similarities with Sweden in terms of its status as an enhanced NATO-partner, it will serve as an additional, and highly relevant, point of reference in the discussion. The developments in this war indicates that for a non-NATO member the primary alternative will be to conduct the fight on its own. Based on the above, the article will go on to investigate a number of old truths from the late 20th century as well as flipped lessons learned from twenty years of counter insurgency, primarily in the Middle East, South Sahel and South East Asia. Small states tend to have very limited size SOF which indicates that mission prioritization will be a key factor for the utility of SOF in resistance operations. There are, however, ways of finding other relevant roles, than the traditional ones, for SOF in resistance operations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 8, no 1, p. 77-94
Keywords [en]
resistance operation, special forces, total defence, innovation
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11157DOI: 10.57767/jobs_2022_0009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11157DiVA, id: diva2:1715476
Available from: 2022-12-02 Created: 2022-12-02 Last updated: 2022-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Ilis-Alm, HansPettersson, Ulrica

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  • apa
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