SOCOM Commander: SOF Must Adapt as Threats Increase

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June 28, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: June 28 on

As the United States faces threats around the globe — from the Islamic State to Russia to China — special operators must adapt, said the commander of Special Operations Command May 24. “The word complex fails to describe the current security environment,” said Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III. “The younger generation — specifically my two sons who are both West Point graduates — have a tendency to tell me that we had it so good in the Cold War, when the world appeared to be more stable based upon reassuring concepts like mutually assured destruction and the threat of nuclear war. It is hard to fathom how much has changed since the Cold War and the velocity of that change.” The only constant in today’s environment is change, he said during a keynote speech at the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association, the publisher of National Defense. “We can describe the situation as predictably unpredictable. In just the past few years we have experienced an evolving threat environment which entails a [varitable] witch’s brew of challenges,” he said.