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ROC References

References about the Resistance
Operating Concept - ROC

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Beginning in 2014 the Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) began an effort to develop a concept of operations that would guide nations in developing a method of deterring and / or defeating an invasion or occupation by another nation. This concept was developed within in the operational environment of eastern Europe with Russia as the 'aggressive nation' that would be the invading or occupying force. Below are some resources about the Resistance Operating Concept or ROC.

References | News | Strategy | Baltic States
Ukraine | Asia | Videos | Podcasts

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References about ROC

Otto Fiala, Kirk Smith, Anders Lofberg, Resistance Operating Concept (ROC), Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), May 1, 2020, PDF, 286 pages.

Otto Fiala and Ulrica Pettersson, "ROC(K) Solid Preparedness: Resistance Operations Concept in the Shadow of Russia", Prism 8, No. 4, pages 17-28, June 2020.

July 19, 2019, "SOCEUR and Resistance Operating Concept (ROC)", by John Friberg, SOF News. The ROC is a concept that will contribute to deterring and resisting agression in Eastern Europe. The ROC is a method whereby Nordic and Baltic countries can conduct 'resistance operations' in the event of an invasion or occupation by Russian military forces.

May 2019, Resistance Operating Concept, SOCEUR. 13 page slide presentation, PDF.

October 2022, National Defense Strategy, Department of Defense, PDF, 80 pages. The term resilience is used 31 times in the latest NDS document.

December 2022, Comprehensive Defence Handbook, Volume I and II, NATO Special Operations Headquarters, PDFs, pages 156 and 70.

Unconventional Warfare Pocket Guide, USASOC, 2016, PDF, 44 pages.

Spencer, John, The Mini-Manual for the Urban Defender: A Guide to the Strategies and Tactics of Defending a City. Available in English, Finnish, Ukrainian, and other languages.


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News Articles about ROC

February 2023, "Resilience and Resistance in NATO", Insights, Irregular Warfare Center, by Sandor Fabian PH.D., PDF, 6 pages.

February 19, 2023, "Indispensable but Insufficient: The Role and Limits of Special Operations in Strategic Competition", by David Ucko, Lawfare.

December 27, 2022, "Psychological Capabilities for Resilience", by Shannon Houck, War on the Rocks.

October 11, 2022, "Ukraine's experience spurs allies interest in 'resistance,' info war training", by Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense.

May 2022, "Communicating the Resistance", by Col. (Ret.) Otto C. Fiala, Security Theory and Practice (Poland), pp. 157-171, PDF, 15 pages.

April 2022, "Bear Trap: Building a Pre-Conflict Underground Force to Resist the Future Enemy", by James Stejskal, Journal on Baltic Security, 8(1): 27-41.

September 9, 2021, "Less door-kicking, more resistance: Inside Army SOF's return to unconventional warfare", by Davis Winkie, Army Times.

June 21, 2021, "Book Review: Resistance Operating Concept", by Bayasgalan Lkhagvasuren, Small Wars Journal.

December 2020, "From 'Total' to 'Comprehensive' National Defence: the Development of the Concept in Europe", by Ieva berzina, Journal on Baltic Security, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp. 1-9. https://journalonbalticsecurity.com/journal/JOBS/article/2/text

"ROC(K) Solid Preparedness: Resistance Operations Concept in the Shadow of Russia", by John Friberg, SOF News, July 28, 2020.

"Book Review - Resistance Operating Concept (ROC), by John Friberg, SOF News, April 3, 2020. https://sof.news/uw/review-resistance-operating-concept-roc/

December 2, 2019, "SOCEUR and Swedish Defense University collaborate on academic publication, the Resistance Operating Concept (ROC)", DVIDS.

July 19, 2019, "SOCEUR and Resistance Operating Concept (ROC)", by John Friberg, SOF News. The ROC is a concept that will contribute to deterring and resisting agression in Eastern Europe. The ROC is a method whereby Nordic and Baltic countries can conduct 'resistance operations' in the event of an invasion or occupation by Russian military forces.


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ROC and National Strategy

Listed below are a series of U.S. government and military documents that highlight the importance of building up resilience and resistance capabilities within partner nations in Europe and around the world to deter or resist an invasion or occupation by a larger country.

“National Security Strategy – 2022”, SOF News, October 21, 2022

The White House released the current National Security Strategy in October 2022 that is detailed in a 48-page document.

National Security Strategy, The White House, October 2022, PDF, 48 pages. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Biden-Harris-Administrations-National-Security-Strategy-10.2022.pdf

National Defense Strategy (NDS), DoD, October 2022

National Military Strategy, 2022, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, PDF, 8 pages.

Integrated Defense – 2022 NDS Fact Sheet link

SOF Vision and Strategy, USSOCOM, 11 April 2022, PDF, 16 pages.

Summary of the Irregular Warfare Annex to the National Defense Strategy, Department of Defense, 2 October 2022, PDF, 12 pages. Link

“Allies, Partners Central to U.S. Integrated Deterrence Effort”, DOD News, March 1, 2023. Link


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Articles about ROC and the Baltic States

Wriston, Edwin, “Ridge Runner IW Exercise 23-01”, SOF News, June 22, 2023. https://sof.news/exercises/ridge-runner23-01/

October 2022, "Understanding of Total Defence in the Baltic Countries", by Asta Maskaliunaite, Journal on Baltic Security, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp. 1-2.

October 2022, "Special Operations Forces (SOF): The integrators for Total Defense and Resistance", by Kevin D. Stringer, Journal on Baltic Security, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp. 67-76.

October 2022, "Modern Resistance - Learning From Non-Western Examples", by Sandor Fabian, Journal on Baltic Security, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp. 44-66.

September 8, 2021, "Russian Rear Area Operations and the Resistance Operating Concept", by Philip Wasielewski, Small Wars Journal.


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Articles about ROC and Ukraine

September 8, 2022, "On Resistance: A Primer for Further Research", by Andrew Maher and Martijn Kitzen, Modern War Institute at West Point.

September 1, 2022, "Ukraine: The Resistance Operating Concept in Action", by James Marinero, Medium - Dock on the Bay.

July 2022, "Ukrainian Resistance", Australian Army Research Centre.

March 10, 2022, "The Fog of War, Civilian Resistance, and the Soft Underbelly of Unprovileged Belligerency", Articles of War, Lieber Institute West Point.

March 7, 2022, "How the US and Europe helped Ukraine prep for insurgency", by Davis Winkie, Army Times.

July-August 2021, "Survival in the Russian Occupied Zone: Command and Organization in Resistance Underground Operations", by Col. Kevin D. Stringer, Military Review.


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Resistance and Resilience in Asia

May 17, 2023, "Developing Resistance and Resilience Is Critical for Taiwan", by Justin Woodward, 1945.

May 10, 2022, "What is Taiwan's porcupine defence strategy?", The Economist.

October 21, 2020, "Resistance and Resilience in Asia - Political Warfare of Revisionist and Rogue Powers", by David Maxwell, Small Wars Journal.

2020, "Sharing SOF Lessons Around the Globe", by Scott R. Gourley, Special Operations Outlook 2020. An article about a Trans-Regional Resistance Working Group (TRWG) conducted by Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) hosted by the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California held in February 2020.

December 2021, Resilience and Resistance, a NATO Model for Taiwan, by Jason Gambill and Christopher S. Pinkerton, Thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, PDF, 107 pages.

"AUKUS Special Operations Forces in Strategic Competition, Integrated Deterrence, and Campaigning: Resistance to Malign Activities", by David Maxwell, Security & Defense Plus.

Thomas, Jim, John Stillion, Iskander Rehman, HARD ROC 2.0: Taiwan Deterrence Through Protraction, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), 2014, PDF, 94 pages.

JSOU, SOF Quills for the Porcupine: Applying Lessons from Ukraine to Taiwan, Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), March 7, 2023, PDF, 18 pages.

Kuo, Raymond, “The Counter-Intuitive Sensibility of Taiwan’s New Defense Strategy”, War on the Rocks, December 6, 2021. The author argues that Taiwan is betting on a ‘high tech defense’ of the island that is designed to get the U.S. to commit its forces; but that the U.S. wants Taiwan to adopt an ‘asymmetric defense strategy’ for the defense of the island.

Tongo, Ritchie, “Taiwan: how the ‘porcupine doctrine’ might help deter armed conflict with China”, The Conversation, October 7, 2021.

Horton, Chris, “Ukraine offers Taiwan a wake-up call, and lessons in resistance”, Breaking Defense, March 10, 2022.

Timbie, James, and Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., “A Large Number of Small Things: A Porcupine Strategy for Taiwan”, The Strategist, Texas National Security Review, Winter 2021/2022.


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Videos about ROC

June 11, 2020, Resistance Operating Concept, Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), YouTube, 36 minutes. Dr. Otto Fiala, retired U.S. Army Colonel and lead author of the Resistance Operating Concept is interviewed about ROC.

“Video – Irregular Warfare in Eastern Europe”, SOF News, November 10, 2022.


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Podcasts about ROC

Concept of Resistance: Part 1 - Resistance in Europe, The Indigeneous Approach, 54 minutes. Lt. Col. Mike Penn (SF), Mr. Paul Tompkins, Dr. Otto Fiala, Lt Col. Randy Martin, and Master Sgt. Frank Miller take part in a panel discussion about what resistance is in Europe and the Pacific and how it's applied in today's operational environment. Listen here.


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