Admiral seeks freer hand in deployment of US Special Forces
Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, is looking to expand the role of the nation's elite forces, The New York Times reports. McRaven wants more autonomy and new authority to move special operators faster, and to regions where they have not operated in the past, such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.
White House, military and Congressional officials told the Times that SOCOMM "has embarked on a quiet lobbying campaign" to seek out the changes in how and where special forces troops are deployed -- and the budget to be unveiled Monday will see an increase in the command's coffers.
The Pentagon has increasingly used Special Operations forces in recent conflicts and missions now made public, such as the raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden last May, the raid into in Somalia in January that rescued two kidnapped aid workers, and the rescue mission in April 2009 that freed a cargo ship captain kidnapped by Somali pirates.
The new concepts would leave a projected 12,000 Special Operations Forces deployed around the world; some on call for striking terrorist targets or rescuing hostages, and others deployed on training and liaison assignments and to gather information, The New York Times reports on pending changes for elite forces.