Small Wars Journal

Spec Ops’ Roles to Deter Russia May Shift More to Conventional Soldiers

Spec Ops’ Roles to Deter Russia May Shift More to Conventional Soldiers by Kyle Rempfer – Army Times

Congress wants to ensure special operations forces are being used for missions that fit their roles, leaving other tasks to conventional troops.

In text added to the 2020 defense budget bill this week, lawmakers ordered an independent review of SOF force structure, roles and responsibilities. Organizations like the RAND Corporation are often tapped for reviews like this one, which would be due next summer.

The measure is intended to better align SOF troops to the new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes great power competition over counter-insurgency and other tasks that have preoccupied the military for nearly two decades.

"Some of this is standard, but it also reflects a growing understanding on the Hill that SOF are being used for a number of activities that could also be — and perhaps should also be — performed by conventional forces,” said Phillip Lohaus, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who previously worked as an analyst for the Pentagon…

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