Special operations forces (SOF) are critical to the US military’s global mission to protect freedom and democracy. However, SOF missions have become increasingly complex in recent years, requiring advanced technologies to compete with nation-state actors with greater resources and capabilities. In order to stay ahead of the curve, SOF must actively invest in new technologies that can give them an edge over their adversaries. 

SOF Tackles Future of Warfare

SOF must invest in various technologies to maintain its advantage over more powerful nation-state actors. These include sophisticated cyber defense systems; artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); robotics; satellite networks; and communications systems. These technologies are necessary for SOF operations to remain agile and effective in the face of ever-changing threats posed by hostile forces worldwide. 

“We’re transforming the SOF enterprise to achieve the goals of the National Defense Strategy,” Christopher Maier, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7.

“While SOF’s role in counterterrorism is widely understood and appreciated, my team and I work daily to ensure the value proposition of SOF in integrated deterrence and campaigning against strategic competitors is accounted for and incorporated into the department’s processes.”