Special Operations Promote Global Partnership Capacity
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2013 U.S. Special Operations Command’s commander today described to Capitol Hill legislators the importance of expanding global partnerships and training authorities over multiple years to continue meeting mission goals as the 2014 drawdown in Afghanistan nears.
“Our direction here as we push toward a vision for [special operations forces] 2020 is about building partner capacity,” Navy Adm. William H. McRaven said at the House Armed Services Committee defense authority review.
While there are a number of authorities that enable the command to engage in numerous joint capability, exercise and training programs, most are only one-year funding authorities, McRaven said.
“As you begin to build a partner’s capacity, you want … a five-year plan or a 10-year plan because it takes time to build capacity if you want to do it right,” he said.
McRaven noted successful partnerships with nations such as Colombia, where in 2002, special operations forces helped foil the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army.
Socom also seeks military construction funding to build training facilities and barracks that will aid longer-term capacity-building, he added.
The admiral noted that although about 85 percent of deployed special operations forces are currently in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, additional partnership-building capacity will be needed to fulfill new missions around the world.
“This is about strengthening our alliances, building our network … and my expectation is that I’ll be able to take that capacity coming out of Afghanistan and be able to push [it] to other combatant commanders,” McRaven said.