WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the threat environment continues to evolve, the U.S. Special Operations Forces must adapt their focus and capabilities to meet these new challenges, officials said.
For the better part of the last two decades, special operations forces have primarily focused on counterterrorism efforts. While that remains an important part of their responsibilities, emerging threats such as the pacing challenges posed by China and Russia have left the strategic role of special operations “much less defined,” said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Christopher P. Maier.
“I would characterize where we are right now as an environment of both continuity and change,” Maier said during a panel discussion at the National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Symposium Nov. 18. “Where I think there is going to be tremendous transition and change — and I would say we're already along that path — is really applying the capabilities and the thinking — and in many respects the talent that is unique to SOF — to the rest of the National Defense Strategy challenges...”
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