Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

National Security Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Donna Kenley


The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 directed the Secretary of Defense to develop a DOD strategy to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by adversarial state and non-state actors. This thesis examined special operations forces capability to support a DOD counter unconventional warfare strategy. Research incorporated qualitative content analysis and case study approach exploring data on countering unconventional warfare. The U.S. Army War College Strategy Model end, ways, and means was used to examine U.S. special operations forces’ capability to support a DOD counter unconventional strategy and provided the framework to display data on Russia’s unconventional warfare activities in Ukraine. Research findings proved special operations forces activities have a primary and supporting role to a DOD counter unconventional warfare strategy and building partner capacity would be instrumental in countering adversarial state and non-state actors unconventional warfare campaigns.



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