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The Q3 SOF in Strategic Competition Forum, titled: The Future of SOF in Strategic Competition: A Look at the Indo-Pacific and Beyond will take place once again virtually, 5-6 May 2021.

All are invited -- all levels of SOF, all Commands, all enterprise stakeholders, academics and business partners. The goal of the Forum is to provide a space for discourse among divergent perspectives within the SOF enterprise and beyond.

The imperatives of diplomacy and alliances are again of central focus, and the status of the underlying strategic logic of the United States, China, and Russia seeking relative advantage is once again, and still, quo. If anything, the recently released Interim National Security Strategic Guidance highlights that strategic competition is centered more specifically on an increasingly assertive China than a disruptive Russia and that U.S. foreign policy needs to focus on Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and the Indo-Pacific, and be viewed and approached through the lenses of intersectionality, convergence, and compound security. In this JSOU’s third forum on Great Power Competition, we turn our attention to the way strategic competition is playing out in the Indo-Pacific in particular, and neighboring and inter-linked areas more generally. This examination focuses specifically on the ways that risks are being anticipated, calculated, and managed in order to prevent competition from leading to conflict.

JSOU Future of SOF Forums are a sequence of research forums meant to explore themes that are important to the current and future profession of special operations. We pose questions and pursue discourse among divergent perspectives in order to frame and understand problems, before looking for solutions. First, the SOF Identity Forums explore the SOF profession as it has been, is now, and will be tomorrow, considering evolving global challenges, national interests and operational requirements. Second, SOF in Strategic Competition Forums, explore our role in a competitive global environment w/ highly complex compound security challenges. Together, these quarterly forums drive our research initiatives and produce fresh research topics and questions, promote discourse and critical thinking about complex issues in SOF, and strengthen the network of thinking and doing SOF professionals for our nation.

This event is open for registration



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Key Documents


Read Ahead Material

Essential Documents

Videos



Supplemental Reading


Role of participant

  • Be self-aware and recognize your biases. Each participant represents the unique perspectives from their respective SOF tribe, their service component, parent service, and special operations forces overall.
  • Be familiar with concepts and topics to be discussed.
  • It is expected that participants will prepare for active participation by conducting required readings.
  • Participants are asked to adhere to the Chatham house rule of non-attribution to foster an open dialogue among participants.
  • Be willing to suspend judgment and think beyond existing constraints.
  • Be open minded to ideas that might seem incongruent, disruptive, or even ill-conceived.
  • Empathize with different internal and external perspectives: components, TSOCs, JSOC, SOCOM HQ; Congress, OSD, other Combatant Commands, Joint Staff, etc.

Advance Preparation

  • Review the Agenda and documents library.

During the sessions

  • Take notes of ideas and questions that emerge as a consequence of presentations.
  • If participating in a facilitated design group exercise:
    • Be willing to question the efficacy of your current individual or organization’s position.
    • Think cross-functionally, trans-disciplinary and multi-organizationally.
    • Explore and help generate new ideas for “integration”
    • Actively participate in small group exercises.

JSOU Forum Etiquette in a Virtual Learning Environment


Below are the basic expectations of participants while attending a JSOU Forum. Fundamentally, participants should treat every session as if they were in an actual classroom and maintain high standards of professional appearance, conduct, and interaction with both peers and presenters. The distance learning environment offers unique challenges and opportunities. However, with discipline, focus, and initiative we can ensure a highly productive educational experience.

  1. Join sessions on time with your camera off and microphone on mute.
  2. Practice standard meeting etiquette.
  3. Come prepared to each session. Be prepared to engage speakers and peers in an informed academic discussion.
  4. Ensure your microphone and camera are functioning before every meeting. Use Zoom’s organic microphone and video test capability.
  5. Limit distractions. Remember that distractions in your environment are also disruptive to the forum. A dedicated headset with microphone is strongly recommended.
  6. Multitasking is strongly discouraged. When the forum is in session your focus should be on it alone. Stay focused on the task at hand.
  7. Keep your microphone muted when not speaking.
  8. Speak clearly.
  9. Maintain and present a professional appearance.
  10. Participate and Engage. Follow standard seminar behavioral norms. Engage actively but wait to be acknowledged and do not interrupt other speakers. Do not over-participate to the point that you impede other students’ opportunities to speak and/or ask questions. Conversely, do not be afraid to speak up and participate.
  11. Do not abuse Zoom’s chat feature to have side conversations when the forum is in session. Feel free to use Zoom to collaborate with one another when on scheduled breaks.
  12. Respect your presenters and peers. While critical thinking inevitably leads to disagreements and academic debate, disrespectful behavior towards peers or presenters will not be tolerated

Question:

Must I register for the Forum to attend?

Answer:

Yes, all participants must register in order to attend the forum.

Question:

Should I use my work email to register?

Answer:

We recommend you do NOT use your .mil email to register, and instead use your personal or other commercial email to register. Sometimes .mil registrations cause the confirmation email to go to junk folders, due to organization filters.

Question:

How do I register for the Exploring SOF Identity Forum ?

Answer:

You can register for the forum using the following link: https://www.socom.mil/JSOU/Pages/JSOUSpecialEvents.aspx

Question:

How do I connect to the Forum on the event days?

Answer:

After you submit your registration, you will be directed to a confirmation page. This page will have the meeting ID and password to attend the virtual forum. An email will also be sent to you with the meeting ID and password. Please check your spam folder if you did not receive an email confirmation.

Question:

Can I log in multiple times per day to choose which panels I want to see each day or can I only log in once during the morning?

Answer:

Yes, you can log in for sessions throughout the forum.

Question:

Where can I go to review the agenda?

Answer:

You can review the forum agenda on this site

Question:

How do I ask questions during the panels?

Answer:

Type your questions in the Chat Box, preceded by “Q#”. A question curator will collect questions and present them to moderators on a separate platform.

Question:

After the forum concludes, will video of the panels be available for further viewing or sharing?

Answer:

Yes; stay connected through our social media pages to watch for the latest happenings at JSOU

Question:

Should I use a commercial or NIPR system to connect to the forum?

Answer:

As Department of Defense may limit live-streaming on NIPR, it is highly recommended you use a commercial internet connection.

Question:

Should I keep my video and audio on or off during the presentations?

Answer:

Please keep your audio on mute during the panels. We do not require video to be active during the event.

Email

FutureofSOFResearchForums@jsou.us


*If you did not receive an email confirmation after registering, please check your spam folder.

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