The world is growing more volatile, unpredictable and threatening. The conduct of war continues to shift: from large-scale clashes between nations to those characterized by unconventional methods, as well as long-term engagements with and against non-state transnational groups. Globalization has brought unprecedented transnational threats—be they unconventional, terrorist or criminal.
Countering these globally networked threats requires a global “good-guy” network that can innovate and operate at speeds that traditional governments cannot. The Global SOF Foundation (GSF), a non-profit organization, is forging this “good-guy” network among the world’s special operations forces (SOF). It brings together military, government, industry and intellectual leaders from around the world for the purpose of advancing the capability and efficacy of SOF.
The GSF complements USSOCOM’s mission and role. Much like AUSA or the Navy League, the GSF serves as a non-governmental voice for joint special operations personnel. The GSF fills a critical gap in the national security discourse, leading an effort to link like-minded public and private entities and to increase understanding of the role that Special Operations can play in addressing global security challenges, especially those emanating from unconventional and transnational sources. Countering the globally networked threats requires a global “good-guy” network that can innovate and operate at speeds that traditional governments often cannot.
The Foundation is not part of the “Global SOF Network” initiatives. Over the past three years, USSOCOM has been working to strengthen the theater special operations commands, push more U.S. SOF forward, improve SOF education, establish Preservation of the Force and Family initiatives, and educate the public about the importance of building partner capacity. The Foundation supports all of these goals. USSOCOM rightly focuses on resourcing and organizing U.S. SOF. It is also working to strengthen its formal ties with other nations’ SOF. Here is where the Foundation can complement USSOCOM efforts: The Foundation focuses on the informal network among SOF stakeholders -- and goes beyond just military personnel. We will include the private sector and other non-governmental entities.
The GSF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization registered in Florida. The GSF is not a traditional charity that aims to help wounded warriors or veterans’ families. It is a professional association. It is an educational foundation and will lobby, but it will not comprise a substantial portion of what the Foundation does.
The GSF strives to ensure that our membership, sponsorship and Corporate Partner dues are spent in a way that furthers the SOF community. Our first audit was completed in November 2016 and determined that 88% of the GSF's funding feeds directly into GSF Programming. That puts us at a 9/10 financial efficiency rating, according to Charity Navigator, and we only expect that number to improve as we grow.