Accession Number : ADA327665

Title :   Special Operations Forces: Opportunities to Preclude Overuse and Misuse.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL A FFAIRS DIV

PDF Url : ADA327665

Report Date : MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 36

Abstract : U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are considered highly capable, elite forces that are trained and maintained to address critical U.S. national security objectives. SOF's versatility, speed of deployment, and capabilities make SOF ideally suited for today's security environment, where significant dangers are created by regional conflicts, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and transnational threats. Thus, it is important for the Department of Defense (DOD) to ensure that SOF are ready to perform their intended missions and are used in ways that capitalize on their unique capabilities. During our review, our overall objective was to determine whether SOF are being used in a manner that best supports national security objectives. Specifically, we determined (1) whether there is general agreement on the priorities for the use of SOF by the regional commanders in chief (CINC) and SOF unit commanders; (2) the pace of SOF operations and how SOF units' senior officers and enlisted personnel view the impact of that pace of operations on readiness, morale, and retention; and (3) in those cases where the pace of operations is perceived to be degrading SOF readiness, whether opportunities exist to reduce that pace. The primary bases for the information in this report are our discussions with and documents obtained from officials at the five major commands, visits to numerous special operations units, and responses to a questionnaire from over 200 senior officers and enlisted personnel at CINC headquarters and SOF units.

Descriptors :   *OPERATIONAL READINESS, *SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES, DEPLOYMENT, NATIONAL SECURITY, MANPOWER UTILIZATION, MORALE, MISSIONS.

Subject Categories : Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE