U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress [Updated May 6, 2021]   [open pdf - 1013KB]

From the Summary: "Special Operations Forces (SOF) play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has about 70,000 Active Duty, National Guard, and reserve personnel from all four services and Department of Defense (DOD) civilians assigned to its headquarters, its four service component commands, and eight sub-unified commands. [...] On November 18, 2020, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced that he was implementing the reforms outlined in Section 922 of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act by 'elevating Special Operations forces to a level on par with military departments as authorized and directed by Congress.' On May 5, 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reversed Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller's 2020 decision and returned the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (ASD [SOLIC]) to the control of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD [P]). Potential issues for Congress include policy concerns relating to Secretary of Defense Austin's decision to reverse Acting Secretary of Defense Miller's 2020 policy decision and the status of DOD's review of DOD and USSOCOM support to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21048
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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