Special Ops Forces Create “Visible and Dramatic Effects”

U.S. special operations forces are engaged in “more than 100 countries worldwide,” said Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.

“In significant ways, our forces are creating visible and dramatic effects of the greatest magnitude across the globe,” Adm. McRaven said in the 2012 US SOCOM posture statement.

“The decade of war after 9/11 has proffered many lessons; among them, specific to SOF, is the complementary nature of our direct and indirect approaches and how these SOF approaches are aligned to this changing strategic environment,” Adm. McRaven said.

“The direct approach is characterized by technologically-enabled small-unit precision lethality, focused intelligence, and interagency cooperation integrated on a digitally-networked battlefield…. Extreme in risk, precise in execution and able to deliver a high payoff, the impacts of the direct approach are immediate, visible to the public and have had tremendous effects on our enemies’ networks throughout the decade.”

“However, the direct approach alone is not the solution to the challenges our Nation faces today as it ultimately only buys time and space for the indirect approach and broader governmental elements to take effect. Less well known but decisive in importance, the indirect approach is the complementary element that can counter the systemic components of the threat.”

“The indirect approach includes empowering host nation forces, providing appropriate assistance to humanitarian agencies, and engaging key populations. These long-term efforts increase partner capabilities to generate sufficient security and rule of law, address local needs, and advance ideas that discredit and defeat the appeal of violent extremism.”

“As Al Qaeda and other extremist organizations attempt to franchise their ideology and violence globally, we will likely remain engaged against violent extremist networks for the foreseeable future,” he said.

In a rare unclassified “notification of special forces operation,” President Obama formally advised Congress last January of the rescue of an American in Somalia.

“At my direction, on January 24, 2012, U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted an operation in Somalia to rescue Ms. Jessica Buchanan, a U.S. citizen.  The operation was successfully completed,” President Obama wrote.  The report was transmitted “as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed.”

3 Responses to “Special Ops Forces Create “Visible and Dramatic Effects””

  1. George Smith March 7, 2012 at 1:12 PM #

    “As Al Qaeda and other extremist organizations attempt to franchise their ideology and violence globally, we will likely remain engaged against violent extremist networks for the foreseeable future”

    Translated: We now operate under a mandate to attack trivial collections of people who we deem annoying in the destitute places of the world from now until whenever.

    “The indirect approach includes empowering host nation forces, providing appropriate assistance to humanitarian agencies, and engaging key populations.”

    Like the forever war in Afghanistan, the one where the locals are rioting everyday and the US-trained Afghan army is turncoat. One suspects it’s difficult to engage key populations after the general population has become aggravated by a decade of being randomly but persistently worked over by spec ops.

  2. Norman March 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM #

    What is the difference between what we are doing today and what the Russians and we were doing during the so called cold war? Are we not the aggressor today?

    This constant taste for war by the military as well as the the industrial complex to supply the world with the tools of destruction, while the infrastructure at home is deteriorating, is nothing short of an evil virus that has gripped the political powers in this country.

  3. George Smith March 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM #

    One way to look at it is maintaining maximum employment in the equivalent of Keynsian jobs programs in national defense.