CRS Report – Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations (Oct 2017)

Navy SEALs (image from USSOCOM 2016 Fact Book)
Navy SEALs (image from USSOCOM 2016 Fact Book)

A report entitled¬†Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress has been published by the Congressional Research Service. Ronald O’Rouke, a specialist in naval affairs, is the author of CRS Report 7-5700, RS22373 dated October 2, 2017.

The 47-page report is provided to Congress to assist it with the oversight responsibilities it has for Navy budgets. Specifically this report will help Congress decide how much emphasis (you could say money) to place on IW and CT activities within the Department of the Navy.

The Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community – as is the case with the Army and Air Force special operations forces – has grown significantly in size and in operational capability since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The most visible of these operations are those conducted in the Middle East and in Afghanistan. Of course, NSW is conducting operations worldwide – both operational missions and training.

From an organizational standpoint NSW has expanded. In 2005 the Navy established the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). The NECC consolidated a number of Navy Irregular Warfare (IW) organizations. In 2008 the Navy established the Navy Irregular Warfare Office. In addition, the expenditure of funds for specialized equipment, weapons, and boats for the NSW community has increased significantly.

Topics covered in the report include:

  • Navy Irregular Warfare (IW) Operations
  • Navy Counterterrorism (CT) Operations
  • Navy Initiatives to Improve its IW and CT Capabilities
  • FY2018 Funding Request
  • Potential Oversight Issues for Congress
  • Legislative Activity for FY2018

In addition there are several appendices:

  • November 2011 Navy Testimony on Navy IW Activities
  • 2012 RAND Corporation Report and Findings
  • Detention of Terrorist Suspects on U.S. Navy Ships
  • 2010 Navy Irregular Warfare Vision Statement

The report can be read online or downloaded at the website of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS):


About John Friberg 201 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.