We all have this image in our head of SOCOM forces appearing where ever we need them when ever we need them. That is an image that has been created by the media, both the mainstream and in Hollywood. It is a tough image to live up to and their commander, Gen. Raymond Thomas III, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, made that clear.
As Written By: Leo Shane III at Military Times:
WASHINGTON — The head of U.S. Special Operations Command said his troops are highly skilled, but they can’t do everything.
“We are not a panacea,” said Gen. Raymond Thomas III in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. “We are not the ultimate solution to every problem, and you will not hear that coming from us.
“That has been misconstrued in some of the media circles.”
The comments came in response to senators concerns about the operational tempo facing special operations forces, and the growing reliance on those personnel for an even-broadening range of missions.
More than 8,000 special operations personnel are currently deployed in 80 different countries. That includes almost 700 in Iraq and Syria, working with local forces on a host of counter-terrorism and support missions.
SOCOM leaders have also in recent months taken the lead in coordinating military anti-terrorism efforts and monitoring the spread of weapons of mass destruction, even though the command only represents about 2 percent of the Defense Department’s budget and manpower.
Earlier this week, Theresa Whelan, acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations, told House lawmakers that the high tempo of operations has forced the command to “eat our young … we’ve mortgaged the future in order to facilitate current operations.
“That has impacted readiness and it’s also impacted the development of force for the future. And as the threats grow, this is only going to get worse.”
Mattis in talks to keep ‘several thousand’ US troops in Iraq after ISIS
On Thursday, committee chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., also warned against “a seemingly insatiable demand for ………
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