United States Special Operations Forces are currently engaged in 75 countries around the globe. Going forward, our greatest threat to national security will not be from nation states, it comes from third world nations hosting radical elements, or countries lacking the resources and infrastructure to prevent radical or criminal elements from establishing a base of operations. Succeeding in this milieu requires that our special forces effectively decrease their response time to a potential threat. To that end, Admiral William H McRaven, USSOCOM’s Commanding Officer, and the officer who oversaw the UBL raid, submitted a priority request to Congress and the Department of State for expanded authorization to train and equip internal security forces in host nations. McRaven’s proposal would facilitate partnering and increase the speed and effectiveness of operations conducted against threats. However, House and Senate officials, along with the Department of State rejected that request; preferring to use existing security agreements put in place by Secretary Clinton and former Secretary Gates. Regrettably, the security agreements in place lack the benefit of lessons learned from prosecuting the GWT. So, it looks like it’s back to the drawing board for USSOCOM planners, for now.
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