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Leaders Outline USSOCOM Budget Concerns

Michael D. Lumpkin, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SOLIC), and Navy Adm William H McRaven, commander of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), recently discussed future SOF budget issues in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (HASC).

The thrust was that SOCOM is worried it will fall in the level of disrepair of the 1970s. Truth be told, ALL of the services need to worry about this. The Honorable Mr Lumpkin reiterated the five SOF truths that have been around since SOCOM’s inception over 20 years ago.

-Humans are more important than hardware
-Quality is better than quantity
-Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced
-Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur
-Special Operations require non-SOF assistance

One of the major points of contention is that, even if the SOF budget is not affected, that SOF enablers will be cut which will in turn, adversely affect the Nation’s ability to conduct SOF missions. While the idea of SOF enablers isn’t new, the concept has become more prominent since the beginning of the war. In particular, SOF relies heavily on non-SOF expertise in three areas; Intelligence, Communications, and Logistics. The first two areas are basically self-explanatory but the last area would include transportation, material support, and base support.

Hopefully the testimony will have an impact during future budget discussions and impress the impact of non-SOF organizations on SOF missions.

If you too are concerned about the SOF budget go take a look at the Armed Forces Press Service article.

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2 Responses to “Leaders Outline USSOCOM Budget Concerns”

  1. FormerSFMedic says:

    That would be the 4 SOF Truths. The last one was added later on, and IMHO is not part of the SOF Truths.

    • Administrator says:

      Think about this. When you are trying to carve out a separate budget and chain of command independent from the traditional services are you going to walk into Congress telling them that even after they set all of this up, you’ll still need the services to make things happen?

      The answer is “no.”

      Even before SOCOM existed, the national capability that arose from the ashes of Eagle Claw knew it would have to rely heavily on the services for certain things. For example, where do you think SOLL came from? What about the reconfigured subs that are designed to carry NSW? SOCOM doesn’t own those. In fact, how do you think SOF get into theater in the first place? Where does their overhead imagery come from?

      When I was a younger guy we used to practice SOF and Conventional Force integration several times per year. Those missions weren’t happening without specific support that SOF did not need 24/7.

      The truth has always been there. It just wasn’t always politically expedient to admit it.