The expanding role of the U.S. Special Operations Command in planning
and executing the U.S. war on terrorism will not necessarily take
resources away from the conventional military services, said U.S.
SOCOM Commander Gen. Bryan D. Brown.
“I think we’re the right command to take on this global
mission,” he said at a Washington, D.C. special-operations
conference. However, he cautioned, “this is not a land grab.”
U.S. SOCOM is reviewing “everything from the top down”
in order to improve its ability to lead the war on terrorism, he
The new role for special operations forces would not interfere
with the U.S. Central Command’s leadership in Iraq or Afghanistan,
Brown said. Special operators would continue to support U.S. efforts
in those conflicts as they have thus far, he said.
In fact, “we’re considering what missions can be transferred
to conventional forces,” he said. “We’re big enough
to do that.”
The command, for example, is increasing its cooperation with the
Marine Corps, Brown said. The relationship between us and the Marines
has never been better,” he said. “We’ve got tons
of initiatives with them. You’ll start to see a lot of them
coming out in the next few weeks.”
The command is adding Marines to its headquarters staff and to
regional special operations staffs around the world. The Marines,
meanwhile, have formed a new unit to help train foreign troops,
traditionally a Special Forces mission.
Currently, Brown said, special operators and the Corps are evaluating
the performance of an experimental, 86-man Marine detachment—the
first of its kind—that deployed to Iraq with Navy SEALs in
2004. Brown said he visited the detachment in Iraq.