Special Operations Forces: Several Human Capital Challenges Must Be Addressed to Meet Expanded Role
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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In 1986, the Congress called for the establishment of a joint service special operations capability under a single command. In April 1987, the Secretary of Defense established the Special Operations Command with the mission to provide trained and combat-ready special operations forces to DOD s geographic combatant commands. Section 167e of Title 10, U.S. Code directs that the Commander of the Special Operations Command be responsible for and have the authority to conduct all affairs of such command related to special operations activities. Under this section, the Commander is also responsible for and has the authority to conduct certain functions relating to special operations activities whether or not they relate to the Special Operations Command, including preparing and submitting to the Secretary of Defense program recommendations and budget proposals for special operations forces and for other forces assigned to the Special Operations Command exercising authority, direction, and control over the expenditure of funds training assigned forces and monitoring the promotions, assignments, retention, training, and professional military education of special operations forces officers. In addition, Section 167 directs the Special Operations Command to be responsible for the following activities as they relate to special operations 1 direct action, 2 strategic reconnaissance, 3 unconventional warfare, 4 foreign internal defense, 5 civil affairs, 6 psychological operations, 7 counterterrorism, 8 humanitarian assistance, 9 theater search and rescue, and 10 other activities such as may be specified by the President or the Secretary of Defense.9 Appendix II defines these activities assigned to the Special Operations Command. DOD has also assigned additional activities to the Special Operations Command.
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