The US Defense Department has started the process of elevating special operations forces on par with military departments as Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller directed the assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low-intensity conflict to report directly to him.
The decision is in line with the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, according to the acting defense secretary.
Miller made the announcement today to troops at Fort Bragg, NC.
“This reform will immediately improve agility to the department and the command and will enable us to streamline information flow, enhance decision making, and more adaptively and adeptly support our commanders and their superb soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines,” he said.
The change is also in line with the National Defense Strategy and will bolster the department’s efforts to remain ahead in the great power competition with Russia and China as well as combating transnational threats, he added.
Miller said he hopes that in the future, Congress will elevate the ASD (SO/LIC) position to under secretary of defense.
“Should any actors underestimate our resolve, or attempt to undermine our efforts, we will not hesitate to restore deterrence and defeat any and all threats,” Miller said.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick is currently performing role of the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low intensity conflict.
“The global demands for special operations forces, then and now has confirmed President Kennedy’s foresight. And now under the leadership of president Trump, we are fully realizing president Kennedy’s prescient view of special operations forces,” Watnick said at Fort Brag after noting that Kennedy predicted the need for special operations forces.