The United States military has increasingly used special operations forces over the past 20 years to advance and protect U.S. national security interests. SOF employs its forces through a variety of command and control structures around the world. These organizations provide SOF to geographic combatant commanders based on operational requirements.
The Government Accountability Office conducted a review of USSOCOM’s structure and organization. This report describes the type and number of command and control (C2) structures used from 2018 to 2021. It evaluates the data used to oversee them and describes the challenges USSOCOM has identified with its oversight of SOF C2 structures and the actions to correct these challenges.
The GAO has made two recommendations. One is to require the use of standard terminology through updated doctrine, guidance, or other means. The second is to establish a centralized data collection mechanism to gather data about the composition of all of its SOF C2 structures at all levels of command.
The description above about the GAO report on SOF C2 may seem a bit dry. However, this report is very interesting and informative and worth a look. The report provides a history of past and current SOF organizations, deployments, and involvement in the affairs around the globe.
Special Operations Forces: Better Data Necessary to Improve Oversight and Address Command and Control Challenges, Government Accountability Office (GAO), October 2022, PDF, 51 pages.