Joni Ernst Speaks at 2016 ReceptionOver the last three years the Global SOF Foundation (GSF) has hosted its National Capital Region (NCR) Reception in Pentagon City. These receptions have been really good networking events with speakers like the Hon. James Clapper, then-Director of National Intelligence, Hon. Michael Lumpkin, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC), and Sen. Joni Ernst, the Chairwoman of the Senate Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. We have also had the Lt. Gen Thomas Trask, USSOCOM Vice Commander, as well as Mr. Hondo Geurts, USSOCOM Acquisition Executive.

In conversation with ASD/SOLIC we moved forward to expand the events to a half-day SOF Policy Forum that brings together policymakers from across the government. To do this right we are partnering with organizations that seek to educate leaders on SOF policy: the University of Texas, Arizona State University, and New America.

The forum is invite only and focused on policymakers and SOF influencers. The first panel is really amazing and one hell of a start, and it will be moderated by Michael Lumpkin (shown right speaking at the 2016 Global SOF Symposium – Europe):

Changing the Defense Budget from a Cold War Model

  • Mac Thornberry (R-TEXAS) Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
  • Jack Reed (D-R.I.) Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
  • Adam Smith (D-WASH.) Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee
  • Joni Ernst (R-IOWA) Senate Armed Services Committee

The second panel is not bad either. It is really hard to have a discussion about SOF without looking hard at Afghanistan and Iraq. Recently Afghanistan made a strategic decision to double the size of their SOF to around 40,000, and our second panel has the CEO of Afghanistan and will be moderated by Peter Bergen, Vice President of New America and Professor of Practice, Arizona State University.

On the Ground in Afghanistan: A Keynote Address from His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah

  • His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • John Dempsey Fellow, International Security program, New America

Other notable speakers will be LTG (RET.) Benjamin Freakley, Professor of Practice of Leadership, Arizona State University; His Excellency Dr. Hamdullah Mohib,   Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United States; and Dr. Paul D. Miller, Associate Director of the Clements Center for History, Strategy & Statecraft, the University of Texas at Austin.

Upon the completion of the SOF Policy Forum, we are hosting a reception at the Capital Hilton where LTG Michael Nagata, Director for Strategic Operational Planning, National Counter Terrorism Center will provide comments. LTG Nagata is a great complement to the speakers we have had over the previous 3 years, and we are extremely fortunate to have him speak.

This is the first Policy Forum of its kind that is purely focused on SOF and with policy-makers throughout the government. Our intent is to host this every year, and we think we will get better each year. See you there!


Register for the evening Reception: http://bit.ly/NCR17_GSFEvents

Learn more about the Policy Forumhttps://www.newamerica.org/conference/SpecialOps/