After a rash of high profile incidents involving the U.S. Special Operations community, Gen. Richard Clarke, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, has ordered a comprehensive review of the culture and ethics in play throughout America’s elite war fighting institutions.
Recent incidents have called our culture and ethics into question and threaten the trust placed in us,” Clarke wrote in a memo.
“As a result, I am initiating a comprehensive review of Special Operations Forces (SOF) culture and ethics. The review will gather insights and observations from across our force and will draw upon the unique perspectives of leaders from internal and external entities.”
The review will delve as deep as recruiting and selection methodologies for new Special Operations war fighters, as well as ethics training and operational policies for seasoned operators. Beyond training and selection, Clarke also indicated that the review would include how ethics violations are addressed within the Special Operations community. This, perhaps more than the other elements discussed, strikes at the heart of what some have called a crisis of culture within SOCOM following a rash of controversies ranging from sexual misconduct to murder that have plagued the community in recent years.