Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is being tasked with one of the most asinine orders following 20+ years of armed conflict; reduce the spending by the military. Part of his solution? Trim down the elite fighting force that comes to everyone’s rescue. Targeting roughly 3,000 of the Army’s Special Operations Forces (USASOC), the Army is looking to specifically target the Green Berets with much of this reduction.
Also known simply as Special Forces soldiers, the Green Berets are an incredibly lethal force. While the USASOC is comprised of multiple layers, the Special forces largely serve as Serving a bridge between the Rangers and Delta Force. As experts in getting the dirty, nasty, and tough job done when nobody else can, they are some of the most elite fighters on the planet. Formed back in 1952, they were a way to boost the elite of the elite in the Rangers and answer for lessons learned in WWII.
The Special Operations Association of America (SOAA) knows full well the legacy these troops bring to the Army and the fierceness of those serving under their command. Writing the House and Senate Armed Services Committees on October 11th, they pled their case for ensuring the Special Operations survive such a cut unscathed. “We are deeply concerned that the Pentagon is contemplating a 10% personnel reduction, equivalent to approximately 3,000 troops from the 36,000 in USASOC’s ranks. This will gravely compromise our national security and send the wrong signals to both our foreign allies and adversaries.”
To hear the mainstream media tell the tale, these “enablers” and “trigger-pullers” need to lose their funding. Never mind the fact that these people enable you to have freedom and for other units to be successful. War without trigger-pullers simply becomes a massacre, with us getting slaughtered. Elected officials who make policy but don’t have to deal with the aftermath have been speaking on these topics for far too long with no understanding of how their decisions change things.
Additionally, USASOC is not only comprised of experts in the violence of special forces. It also includes the Rangers, 160th Special Operations Regiment (SOAR), Delta Force, and multiple psychological warfare and civil affairs units. Each of these outfits plays a specific role and has its own section of expertise.
Rangers are often the second unit being sent into combat. Following Special Forces, their expertise is in extended warfighting and calculated assessment missions. While Special Forces and Delta are incredibly competent and precise in their actions, the Rangers specialize in more broad-spectrum warfare, making them a more utility force. When we need immediate response on humanitarian missions that have the potential to be deadly, like Katrina, they are often some of the first ones to assess the situation.
160th SOAR serves as the best-of-the-best pilots. Affectionately called the Night Stalkers, this is a unit of pilots and other aviation positions that simply fly on another level. Their operations at 30k feet and all the way down to just above sea level are extraordinary. Often serving as the chariots for USASOC troops to get in and out of battle, these pilots can take their aircraft in and out of places so tight that many wouldn’t even try to fly a kite.
Psyops and civil affairs units provide the intel for the fight. From interviewing detained terrorists to distributing leaflets to try and gain the trust of the local populace, these units win the hearts and minds and get the job done. It’s a taxing and oftentimes dangerous mission with USASOC, and these units help make that time safer, more predictable, and more controlled as we attempt to gain ground.
These units train the special operations communities across the globe. Ukraine was able to resist the Russian invasion thanks to their special forces, and the training they received in the US following the annexation and invasion of Crimea back in 2014. From overthrowing a government to taking back land on behalf of another nation, the USASOC can do it all. Taking money away from them is just another way to make the nation weaker, and ultimately should be the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.