Right about the time USSOCOM stood up they came out with a list of SOF Truths which were there to remind everyone that SOF must remain a well trained and funded part of the force structure lest we become unable to deal with certain threats and challenges in the future. During the most recent conflict the list was amended to include a proviso that non-SOF support would be required for many operations. This is because it would be foolish to build a redundant non-specialized force structure such as strategic lift just to support their mission sets. It’s easier (and cheaper) to piggyback off of what is in already place for things like logistics, base level comms, and some intelligence information as well as the aforementioned transportation support. What’s more, those conventional force specialized capabilities are experts in what they do because its all that they do.
The funny thing is, once you read this list, you immediately realize that they apply to all defense capabilities. Look at how many times we have been caught with our pants down because our general purpose forces didn’t have a certain capability or even the most basic of training or equipment for a particular mission set. As we face the current drawdown and transition to what I refer to as “1975 Redux” I hope the leaders and planners in the Department of Defense take these truths to heart. Congress as well. They must continue to fund America’s forces so that we do not become a paper tiger.