Commander of SOCOM Looking for Freer Hand

Marauder06

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Front page of today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/us/admiral-pushes-for-freer-hand-in-special-forces.html


WASHINGTON — As the United States turns increasingly to Special Operations forces to confront developing threats scattered around the world, the nation’s top Special Operations officer, a member of the Navy Seals who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels.

The officer, Adm. William H. McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command, is pushing for a larger role for his elite units who have traditionally operated in the dark corners of American foreign policy. The plan would give him more autonomy to position his forces and their war-fighting equipment where intelligence and global events indicate they are most needed.
It would also allow the Special Operations forces to expand their presence in regions where they have not operated in large numbers for the past decade, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
While President Obama and his Pentagon’s leadership have increasingly made Special Operations forces their military tool of choice, similar plans in the past have foundered because of opposition from regional commanders and the State Department. The military’s regional combatant commanders have feared a decrease of their authority, and some ambassadors in crisis zones have voiced concerns that commandos may carry out missions that are perceived to tread on a host country’s sovereignty, like the rift in ties with Pakistan after the Bin Laden raid.
 

AWP

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I think the article was written by someone who didn't take their Ritalin. First they present you with the "gotcha" moment where it sounds like SOCOM will more or less operate as it pleases, which is a bad idea IMO. Later it states that missions can't be launched without the approval of the regional commander and still further into the article it makes it sound like SOCOM would only forward deploy troops and make them available to the regional commander, NOT send them on unilateral missions. Buried in the article it states that these units will still have to filter their missions through the normal chain of command, to include the JCS and SECDEF (which presumably State will be involved in as well).

Maybe there's some awesome plan involved, but I wouldn't know it from the article.
 

M482012AN5

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I'm new to this forum, and certainly young and naive, but it seems as though he's just seeking approval, or rather the authority, to more freely conduct kinetic operations at the discretion of regional commands, especially those which are currently are limited in their abilities to do so, for whatever amount of reasons (i.e. EUCOM, AFRICOM, or more bluntly anyone besides CENTCOM). The reasons aren't appropriate to be discussed here, but IMHO the operational capacity he's asking permission to utilize is necessary if SOCOM is going to execute its mission. Whether or not that mission should be more clearly defined in public is certainly something for debate, maybe that's what the Times should be reporting on, not the organization just trying to do its job.
 

M482012AN5

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Noted and corrected, apologies. Anyway, my thoughts were that anything less than kinetic didn't really need to be cleared. I'd think the potential issues with those types of operations would be those mostly relating to interagency coordination and cooperation, but probably more-so the latter. Why they can't reconcile their goals and methods is beyond me...
 

DA SWO

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Noted and corrected, apologies. Anyway, my thoughts were that anything less than kinetic didn't really need to be cleared. I'd think the potential issues with those types of operations would be those mostly relating to interagency coordination and cooperation, but probably more-so the latter. Why they can't reconcile their goals and methods is beyond me...
"Kinetic" Ops get cleared too. No Military Unit just goes out and does "it's own thing", all ops get approved by someone.
 

M482012AN5

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"Kinetic" Ops get cleared too. No Military Unit just goes out and does "it's own thing", all ops get approved by someone.

Sorry for not clarifying, I was speaking more to operations conducted by State and the IC/SOCOM community that potentially undermine each other, and by cleared I meant on the cabinet level.
 

RetPara

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In your worst nightmare.....
Missions can be, have been, and will be conducted without regional commanders or DOS approval or knowledge. If you want great pictures of a US Ambassador having an epileptic fit; have the commander of a ODA that he did not know about, knock on his door looking for refuge....... :-"

Then there are other authors

Sometime politicians or military leaders are so impressed by their own awesomeness.... that they will write checks with the troops bodies, that they can't cash....
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Then you have the Good Idea Fairy. Best action to take when they appear is to shoot on sight.....
good-idea-fairy-3.jpg


Pilots... a breed unto their own that have began to inter-breed.... The sky is the only place big enough for their ego's.
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