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Comprehensive Report on Culture and Ethics in the Special Operations Community

February 3, 2020

Episode Notes:

Improper and excessive behavior in the special operations community, dating at least to a 2015 New York Times article about SEAL Team 6, came to a head this past summer. Several high profile trials of special operations personnel, as well as the firing of the top three leaders of a deployed SEAL team for allegations of sexual assault, drug use, and poor discipline in their unit, made national news. In August, the commander U.S. Special Operations Command ordered a comprehensive review of culture and ethics within the special operations community.

To discuss the findings and importance of this latest comprehensive review, we are joined by professor Pauline Shanks Kaurin, who teaches in the College of Leadership and Ethics, where she holds the Admiral James B. Stockdale Chair in Professional Military Ethics. 

Follow Pauline on Twitter: @KaurinShanks


[ 02:22 ] How is this different from a systemic ethics problem?

[ 04:02 ] Can you talk about the role and important of leaders and leadership in establishing culture and ethics.

[ 06:11 ] Is this balance or tradeoff valid in your experience?

[09:06 ] To what extent does the extremely high operations tempo that special operations forces have maintained over the past two decades increase the risk to culture and ethical standards? 

[ 11:36 ] Were you surprised at the findings of the report?

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