This past Wednesday, DMGS was privileged to host a special event featuring Dr. Mark Moyar, the director of the Project on Military and Diplomatic History at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and author of six books including Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America’s Special Operations Forces (Basic Books, 2017), “the first comprehensive history of U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF).”

Moyar described the unique history of U.S. Special Operations Forces tracing their evolution from their origins in World War II to the present-day use of SOF in stabilizing operations throughout MENA (the Middle East and Northern Africa). He analyzed how Presidential leadership has affected SOF with events compelling interest and interest dwarfing understanding. Explaining the continuous need for SOF to demonstrate the relevance of their goals and missions, Moyar contended that the success of SOF operations depends chiefly upon local actors already in an environment whether it be allies or opponents of the U.S. He concluded that SOF units are most effective working in partnership with conventional forces reaffirming that conventional forces will be necessary for winning future wars.

During the Q&A section, Moyar gave thoughtful responses to listener questions on a number of topics including the uneasy relationship between SOF and the traditional military, the use of SOF in Vietnam, and the relevance of history to current foreign policy issues facing the U.S. DMGS students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to network with Dr. Moyar and other visitors to our campus while enjoying a catered lunch after the event.