Congressional Report Questions Strain on Special Operators

The US Special Operations Force is already over stretched at a time when the incoming presidential administration is likely to ask it to do more, and lawmakers should look to address this in future budgets and legislation, a new report states. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service released a report last week stating that US Special Operations Command is strained, and standard military units may need to take on more authorities. Congress should “seek clarity” from the Trump Administration on its plans for US Special Operations Command, CRS states. “Such a discussion might also examine whether the Trump Administration’s stated plans to increase the size of the US military and improve its capabilities also relates directly to USSOCOM, and if there is potential for expanded conventional forces to take over certain missions or responsibilities currently being assigned to USSOCOM, ” the report states. The report notes that in August 2016, the Pentagon directed SOCOM to be the primary authority for countering weapons of mass destruction, a mission that was previously assigned to US Strategic Command. This is another leading role for special operators, already tasked with being the leading role on several other missions, including tracking foreign fighters across the globe. (Read the report, pdf warning.)