I’ve decided to start a new series on SOFREP about foreign internal defense (FID)—a topic that touches upon subjects such as unconventional warfare (UW) and espionage as it is related to source handling and eliciting information. To make a long story short, FID is a mission in which Special Forces teams deploy to an allied nation, or at least one that doesn’t completely hate us, and then begin training their military and police units. Usually this consists of basic infantry training, but depending on how close we our with the host nation, we may train on more advanced subjects, such as sniper operations.
While conducting FID, the relationship you build with your host-nation counterparts is critical. In fact, some would argue that this relationship is the real goal of the entire mission, more so than training third-world soldiers how to fire an M16. That relationship is what allows you to work together, not just on this mission, but in the war none of us expect to happen five years from now. Sometimes I think Special Forces neglects the importance of these relationships and takes a rather short view, but the importance of rapport-building cannot be overemphasized. This is what really makes Special Forces a force multiplier for the U.S. Army.
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