SOCOM Prepared for New WMD Mission

Despite a very demanding pace of operations, US Special Operations Command is prepared to handle its new responsibility as the leading US military authority for countering weapons of mass destruction, SOCOM boss Army Gen. Raymond Thomas said Thursday. SOCOM received “an enormous and incredibly important mission set” from US Strategic Command when it took charge of WMD in January, Thomas told the Senate Armed Services Committee. His first action has been to undertake a government-wide review of activities in this arena. By August, Thomas expects to deliver to Secretary of Defense James Mattis “a comprehensive assessment of where we are in terms of the United States government policies and objectives for countering weapons of mass destruction.” He said he is confident in SOCOM’s ability to transition seamlessly into WMD leadership because “we are already pre-established in certain areas of this mission set.” The biggest challenge he expects to face is “seeing and sensing the nature of the threat in an environment that runs the gamut” from “nefarious items” to those that are being used “for the good of industry and not for a nefarious use.”