Author Biography

Dr. Keenan D. Yoho is an Assistant Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where he holds an appointment in the School of Business and Public Policy. Keenan's research and expertise is in the area of operations management where he has conducted research on humanitarian assistance and disaster response, military operations and logistics, and operations strategy. Keenan's current work focuses on the role of multinational special operations in preventing conflict and enhancing collective security. Tess deBlanc-Knowles is an alumna of Georgetown’s Graduate School of Foreign Service, where she studied Middle East Security and Counterterrorism. Currently, she works as a federal contractor for the Department of Defense. Tess previously spent time in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction; and at the National Defense University, where she conducted research on the Levant and the British Mandate in Iraq. Dr. Randy Borum is a Professor and Coordinator for Strategy and Intelligence Studies in the School of Information at the University of South Florida. He previously served on the DNI’s Intelligence Science Board (ISB), and has studied behavioral dynamics in violent extremism and counterintelligence. He has authored/co- authored more than 150 professional publications, and currently serves as Senior Editor for the Journal of Strategic Security.




Globalization’s “interconnecting” effects have blended with an ethos of instability to create an extraordinarily complex global security environment. Though the number of armed conflicts worldwide has declined since the early 1990s, the character of those conflicts has evolved in some troubling ways. Conventional inter-state wars are less common, but they have been displaced by a proliferation of smaller scale, asymmetric, diffuse and episodic struggles: What Trinquier calls “subversive warfare or revolutionary warfare.” The participants in these conflicts are not limited to national military forces, but include a range of non-state actors, including militias, ethnic groups, illicit transnational networks, informal paramilitary organizations, and violent extremists. Many of today’s most vexing global threats, including those that affect the United States’ national security interests, emanate from terrorist networks, transnational criminal organizations, rogue states, and the intersection of activities and shared objectives among malicious actors operating from frontiers or “ungoverned spaces.” Special Operations Forces (SOF) have had an essential, but evolving, role in countering those threats.

The articles assembled in this issue of Journal of Strategic Security examine SOF’s role in the global, joint force of the future. Through a military-academic partnership between U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the University of South Florida, five papers have been selected for the purpose of further developing dialogue on issues related to SOF’s pivot toward partnership-driven, indirect action. Some common themes emerge in these works: a view that future security rests in partnerships, and an acknowledgement that the threats, constraints, and realities of the current strategic environment demand applications of “smart power” to assure collective security.