Abu Muqawama: Special Operations Forces’ Expanding Global Role

Abu Muqawama: Special Operations Forces’ Expanding Global Role

Over the past several months, we have learned more about plans by the U.S. Special Operations Command to take on a greater role globally. As reported by Kim Dozier and others, U.S. special operations forces are working to build a global network of special operations forces in partner countries to meet a wide array of threats. U.S. special operations forces are also marketing themselves to policymakers as the “weapon of choice” after the drawdown in Afghanistan.

This push for greater prominence arrives at a time when special operations forces, long the bastard children of the U.S. military, are enjoying unprecedented prominence and esteem. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even traveled to their headquarters in Tampa, Florida, last week to sing their praises.

For the next few weeks, though, I will be devoting a series of columns to the risks associated with a “special operationalization” of U.S. foreign policy. My intent is not to be alarmist but rather to ask hard questions from the position of someone who knows and admires U.S. special operations forces, but who also has real worries about this emerging trend in U.S. national security policy.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.