How shortsighted can the Obama 3/Beijing Biden regime get?
What the hell does Army Secretary Christine Wormuth know about anything, much less Special Operations?
WASHINGTON—The Pentagon is poised to make controversial cuts to the Army’s storied special-operations forces, amid recruiting struggles and a shift in focus from Middle East counterterrorism operations to a threat from China.
The Army is cutting about 3,000 troops, or about 10% from its special-operations ranks, which could include so-called trigger-pullers from the Green Beret commando units who have conducted some of the nation’s most dangerous and sensitive missions around the world, from the jungles of Vietnam to the back alleys of Baghdad.
The reductions would enable the Army to rebalance toward the large conventional ground forces needed in a potential fight in Asia. The trims in the ranks of special forces would also help the Army cope with a recruiting shortfall in a strong labor market. But opponents of the cuts, notably senior special-operations officers, have argued they could hinder training of U.S. partners, including the Ukrainian and Taiwanese militaries, and limit the elite units’ ability to respond to crises.
The service plans to brief Capitol Hill in the coming days on the reductions. Mostly, the Army plans to cut special-operations troops in supporting roles such as psychological warfare, civil affairs, intelligence operators, communications troops, logistics and other so-called enablers, U.S. military officials said. The cuts would follow the reallocation last year of more than 700 special-operations troops from the Army and other services. In sum, the cuts to the Pentagon’s umbrella Special Operations Command would amount to about 3,700 troops since last year.
The reductions have been fought hard from within the special-operations community, but they are expected to happen, U.S. officials said. The final documents have yet to be signed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, officials said.
As with any such force reduction, however, the proposed cuts could be overturned by Congress, which has loud advocates for the Pentagon’s special-operations community. If it goes through, it would amount to only about 5% cut to Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla.
But more broadly, the reduction would mark the beginning of a new era for the Pentagon. The U.S., long engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones, has relied heavily on special-operations troops as the go-to force to fight counterterrorism and conduct the counterinsurgency operations in the war on terror.
Allied special forces fought extensively in World War II, and Army units deployed to Vietnam early on, training and advising South Vietnamese fighters. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy authorized them to wear their signature green beret, according to a U.S. Army history.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, SOCOM, which also includes the Navy SEALs, the Marine Corps’ special-reconnaissance force, Air Force special operators and others, has grown to about 75,000 from 45,000, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. The Army contributes about half of those forces, or about 36,000. Troops and civilian support staff now operate in about 80 countries.
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