U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress [December 3, 2010] [open pdf - 188KB]
"Special Operations Forces (SOF) play a significant role in U.S. military operations, and the Administration has given U.S. SOF greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) directs increases in SOF force structure, particularly in terms of increasing enabling units and rotary and fixed-wing SOF aviation assets and units. The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Commander, Admiral Eric T. Olson, in commenting on the current state of the forces under his command, noted that SOF forces are deployed to more than 75 countries and 86% of these forces are in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Admiral Olson also noted ongoing growth in SOF units and aviation assets and the effectiveness of Section 1208 authority, which provides funds for SOF to train and equip regular and irregular indigenous forces to conduct counterterrorism operations. USSOCOM's FY2011 budget request for $9.8 billion has been recommended by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees for full funding, and both committees have recommended additional funding for unfunded requirements."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21048