Special Ops Are the Future: Top Admiral

William McRaven calls for bigger focus on secret missions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2012 8:07 AM CDT
Special Ops Is the Future: Top Admiral
In this May 6, 2011, file photo President Obama talks with Adm. William H. McRaven, special forces commander.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Today's international threats call for a shift in military strategy, and the US must focus increasingly on secret operations, says the US special operations chief. William McRaven, who headed the Osama bin Laden raid, wants more power for the Special Operations Command—including Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other elite fighting forces—to battle militants worldwide, the Los Angeles Times reports. Special ops should be "the force of choice" against "emerging threats," McRaven says in Pentagon documents.

The Obama administration's 2013 budget proposal would increase special ops funding, and McRaven's comments jell with the president's focus on secret missions and drone attacks. But the commander's concerns point to a growing threat from al-Qaeda, contrasting with administration claims that the terrorist group has weakened. Meanwhile, some defense department leaders worry that increased special ops power could undermine Pentagon authority. Such teams "are wonderful, but they are focused on grabbing a terrorist or some other mission of the moment, and they don't want to be slowed down by anything," says a retired commander. (More William McRaven stories.)

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