Small Wars Journal

Report Advises Changes on How Special Operators are Used

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 11:46am

Report Advises Changes on How Special Operators are Used by Tara Copp, Stars & Stripes

The next U.S. president should recognize “the sanctity” of the special operations community and consider a few policy changes to better utilize that force, a group of retired generals advised in a new report.

In the “Advice from [Special Operations Forces]” report from the Center for Naval Analyses, six retired special operations officers and generals, a former assistant secretary of defense and about 50 active-duty special forces members gathered to voice concerns that they feel the next White House administration should know, said Jonathan Schroden, special operations program director at the center. The participants were not identified in the report by the CNA, a federally funded, nonpartisan think tank.

Since 2009, Special Operations Command has grown from 56,000 personnel with a base budget of about $6 billion to 70,000 people with a base budget of nearly $11 billion, the report found.

However, during the same time, the majority of counter-terrorism operations – in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and other countries and training operations in the Philippines – have relied heavily on special operators and the wear on that force is evident, Schroden said.

For the next administration, the report identified several changes that would benefit special forces, including having a more active role in when special operators are used…

Read on.