Washington, D.C. – A leading think tank told the Senate Armed Services Committee Dec. 6 that the incoming Trump Administration should undertake an assessment of special operations forces as part of any new counterterrorism strategy. The incoming Trump administration will have the burden to ensure SOF is enveloped into the Pentagon structure appropriately with new authorities.

Shawn Brimley, executive vice president of the Center for a New American Security, made the remarks to SASC in his testimony during a hearing on emerging U.S. Defense and Worldwide Challenges.
“Over the past decade, SOF have been deployed at unprecedented rates, placing immense strain on the force,” Brimley said. “SOF cannot operate in large numbers for long periods without enabling support from conventional forces, which is the case with ongoing operations today.”

The assessment should focus upon a wide-range of issues affecting SOF, including personnel recruitment and retention, command and control, global readiness, and deployment posture, Brimley added.
SASC held the hearing on the same day that President Barack Obama delivered what is likely the final national security speech of his administration at Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

Discussion at the hearing encompassed a wide-range of national security challenges, including the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Syrian Civil War, as well as threats posed by Russia, China, and Iran.