Author Biography

Mr. Scott Morrison serves as the Director of the Commander’s Action Group at the NATO Special Operations Headquarters in Mons, Belgium. During his military career he deployed on a wide variety of missions in the Balkans, Southwest Asia, and Africa and served in the 1st Ranger Battalion, the 82nd Airborne Division, and 10th Special Forces Group. Mr. Morrison also spent a year in Iraq as the senior advisor to the Commander, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Infantry Division. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Leiden University in the Netherlands; he holds an MA in Defence Studies from King’s College, University of London; an MA in Military Science in Unconventional Warfare from American Military University; and a BS in Engineering with a concentration in Military Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Mr. Morrison is also a graduate of the United Kingdom’s Joint Services Command and Staff College.



Subject Area Keywords

Asymmetric warfare, Military affairs, Special operations forces, Stability operations, Strategy


The current Defense Strategy assigns Special Operations Forces (SOF) to play a central role in countering terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and irregular warfare. However, there has been little published that defines the role of Special Operations alongside air, land, and sea domains. The U.S. Special Operations Community struggles to define its own theoretical concepts such as direct approach and indirect approach. The U.S. SOF circles typically define direct approach with direct action and the indirect approach with foreign internal defense or security force assistance. Military theorist Liddell Hart viewed the indirect approach as a method to orient upon, target, and upset an adversary’s equilibrium in order to plan for and direct decisive blows. Today, the SOF indirect approach is arguable more applicable due to the prevalence of non-state threats and internal conflicts. Following Hart’s definition, precision raids are among the integral components of a broader application of the indirect approach. The approach also networks U.S. government power as a force when used in concert with allies and local partners. Global networking along with balanced precision raids will exponentially increase the utility of SOF power and position it to appropriately complement all domains to tackle 21st century challenges.