WikiLeaks released a document named Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare highlighting the facts that major global financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank are used as unconventional financial weapons in times of conflict as well as to leverage the policies and cooperation of State Governments.
I’ll highlight some of the more hard-hitting sections below but you have to go read the entire document on WikiLeaks.
DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Distribution authorized to U.S. Government agencies and their contractors only to protect technical or operational information from automatic dissemination under the International Exchange Program or by other means. This determination was made on 28 August 2008. Other requests for this document must be referred to Commander, United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, ATTN: AOJK-DTD-JA, Fort Bragg, NC 28310-9610, or by e-mail to JAComments@soc.mil.
DESTRUCTION NOTICE: Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document.
FOREIGN DISCLOSURE RESTRICTION (FD 6): This publication has been reviewed by the product developers in coordination with the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School foreign disclosure authority. This product is releasable to students from foreign countries on a case-by-case basis only.
Headquarters, Department of the Army
This publication is available at Army Knowledge Online (www.us.army.mil) and General Dennis J. Reimer Training and Doctrine Digital Library at (www.train.army.mil).
Department of the Army
Washington, DC, 30 September 2008
Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare
Since 11 September 2001 and the onset of the War on Terrorism (WOT), existing UW doctrinal publications have undergone intense scrutiny and timely revision. A majority of existing ARSOF manuals have incorporated recent lessons learned and updated tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) of immediate utility to the conduct of war. For this reason, the Army has classified most of these revised manuals. UW remains an enduring and effective means of warfighting and is recognized as a central effort in the WOT. Although the classification of existing doctrine is prudent for operational security, it limits the distribution of concepts necessary for an effective joint, interagency, and multinational effort. ARSOF and other audiences require an unclassified conceptual manual useful to understanding the nature of UW and its role in the nation’s application of power. This manual provides that unclassified conceptual treatment.
ARSOF execute and are the functional proponent for UW under United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Directive 10-1, Terms of Reference for Component Commanders, and other authorities. Currently, there exists no authoritative interagency or joint doctrine specifically for UW—although sufficient joint doctrine does exist for general campaign design and execution of joint and Army operations. This manual is the overarching doctrinal reference that specifically addresses UW as conducted by ARSOF. Detailed TTP for UW can be found in FM 3-05.201, (S/NF) Special Forces Unconventional Warfare (U). The first chapter establishes what UW is and includes a comparison of traditional and emerging concepts with which UW is sometimes confused. Chapter 2 discusses the international environment and United States (U.S.) instruments of national power within which all military operations—including UW—occur. Chapter 3 addresses policy and doctrine that define, enable, and constrain UW. Chapter 4 outlines planning considerations for UW. The next three chapters provide a more focused operational discussion of ARSOF’s three main component disciplines: SF operations, Psychological Operations (PSYOP), and Civil Affairs operations (CAO). Chapter 8, which concerns supporting elements and activities of UW, concludes the basic manual. The appendixes contain useful supplemental information. The first seven appendixes (A–G) provide expanded and detailed information on U.S. instruments of national power within the broader context of the international environment. Appendix H is a survey of definitions and current academic considerations concerning historical and cultural concepts useful to the assessment of human environments. Appendix I provides a historical survey of UW. Appendix J contains an outline sketch of change and constancy in the definition of UW. Current doctrinal references and an expanded bibliography provide a guide for further reading and mature understanding of UW within the endeavor of war. Both the text and the Glossary identify terms that have joint or Army definitions. FM 3-05.130 is the proponent field manual (the authority) for UW, but is not the proponent for any other Army term.
Role of the Media
2-8. It is important for the official agencies of government, including the armed forces, to recognize the fundamental role of the media as a conduit of information. The USG uses SC to provide top-down guidance for using the informational instrument of national power through coordinated information, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the other instruments of national power. The armed forces support SC themes and messages through IO, public affairs (PA), and defense support to public diplomacy (DSPD). The armed forces must assure media access consistent with classification requirements, operations security, legal restrictions, and individual privacy. The armed forces must also provide timely and accurate information to the public. Success in military operations depends on acquiring and integrating essential information and denying it to the adversary. The armed forces are responsible for conducting IO, protecting what should not be disclosed, and aggressively attacking adversary information systems. IO may involve complex legal and policy issues that require approval, review, and coordination at the national level.
2-9. By definition, UW consists of operations conducted by, with, or through irregular forces. Such engagement with the “human terrain” is fundamentally a conflict of ideas. It is essential that ARSOF understand the informational environment within which forces execute UW and how informational instruments of power wielded by the United States and other actors can shape the human terrain. (Appendix B includes further details on the informational instrument of national power.)
Economic Instrument of United States National Power and Unconventional Warfare
2-35. Economic intercourse, great and small, is a natural human activity and—along with information exchange and the spectrum of conflict—is a timeless characteristic of the international environment. Nation-states, human groups, and individuals all respond to economic activity. Most such exchange is unmanaged, routine, and peaceful. However, entities can use economic inputs and flows as a “weapon” in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war. ARSOF understand that properly integrated manipulation of economic power can and should be a component of UW.
2-36. The United States can use managed access to U.S. economic inputs to leverage the policies and cooperation of state governments. Economic incentive and disincentives—real, implied, or simply identified—can build and sustain international coalitions waging or supporting U.S. UW campaigns. As part of an interagency effort, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) can recommend changes to U.S. policy that can provide such incentives to state governments and others at the national strategic policy level.
2-37. If properly authorized and coordinated, ARSOF can use measured and focused economic incentives and disincentives to persuade adversaries, allies, and surrogates to modify their behavior at the theater strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Such application of economic power must be part of a circumspect, integrated, and consistent UW plan.
2-38. Like all other instruments of U.S. national power, the use and effects of economic “weapons” are interrelated and they must be coordinated carefully. Once again, ARSOF must work carefully with the DOS and intelligence community (IC) to determine which elements of the human terrain in the UWOA are most susceptible to economic engagement and what second- and third-order effects are likely from such engagement. The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) placement abroad and its mission to engage human groups provide one channel for leveraging economic incentives. The DOC’s can similarly leverage its routine influence with U.S. corporations active abroad. Moreover, the IO effects of economic promises kept (or ignored) can prove critical to the legitimacy of U.S. UW efforts. UW practitioners must plan for these effects.
2-39. CA units in ARSOF are the natural lead planners for focusing JTF commanders’ planning on the use of the economic weapon in UW. ARSOF understand the importance of not assuming that CMO in UW are somehow an adjunct to the “real fight.” The role of CA in wielding the economic weapon is an important element in ARSOF UW operations.
Financial Instrument of U.S. National Power and Unconventional Warfare
2-44. The agent controlling the creation, flow, and access to “stores of value” wields power. Although finance is generally an operation of real and virtual currency, anything that can serve as a “medium of exchange” provides those who accept the medium with a method of financial transaction. For both reasons, ARSOF understand that they can and should exploit the active and analytical capabilities existing in the financial instrument of U.S. power in the conduct of UW.
2-45. Like the economic activity, which all nation-states, human groups, and individuals respond to, ARSOF can use financial power as a weapon in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war. Like the economic activity that it is related to, most financial power is unmanaged, routine, and peaceful. However, manipulation of U.S. financial strength can leverage the policies and cooperation of state governments. Financial incentives and disincentives can build and sustain international coalitions waging or supporting U.S. UW campaigns. As part of an interagency effort, the U.S. Treasury can recommend changes to U.S. policy that can provide such incentives to state governments and others at the national strategic policy level. Participation in international financial organizations, such as the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), offers the U.S. diplomatic-financial venues to accomplish such coalitions.
2-46. State manipulation of tax and interest rates and other legal and bureaucratic measures can apply unilateral U.S. financial action to open, modify, or close financial flows. Government can apply unilateral and indirect financial power through persuasive influence to international and domestic financial institutions regarding availability and terms of loans, grants, or other financial assistance to foreign state and nonstate actors.
2-47. If properly authorized and coordinated, ARSOF can use—or coordinate for other agencies to use—measured and focused financial incentives or disincentives to persuade adversaries, allies, and surrogates to modify their behavior at the theater strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Such application of financial power must be part of a circumspect, integrated, and consistent UW plan.
2-48. Like all other instruments of U.S. national power, the use and effects of financial weapons are interrelated and they must be coordinated carefully. Once again, ARSOF must work with the DOS and IC to determine which elements of the human terrain in the UWOA are most susceptible to financial engagement and what second- and third-order effects are likely from such engagement. The Treasury’s Office of International Affairs and Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) (and its components), together with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), provide financially mission-focused channels for identifying opportunities to employ the financial weapon. In addition to intelligence and policy changes that may provide active incentive or disincentive leverage, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has a long history of conducting economic warfare valuable to any ARSOF UW campaign.
To close this out I leave you with John Perkins
John Perkins spent three decades as an Economic Hit Man, business executive, author, and lecturer. He lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and North America. Then he made a decision: he would use these experiences to make the planet a better place for his daughters generation. Today he teaches about the importance of rising to higher levels of consciousness, to waking up — in both spiritual and physical realms — and is a champion for environmental and social causes.