Policy

Special Operations Seeks 20% R&D Budget Bump

Collaborative autonomy and better contested communications top the wish list, while supply-chain risk becomes a top concern.

Science & Tech

The Reaper UAV Is Getting Its Own Drone Swarm

Air Force special operators are rigging the venerable uncrewed aircraft with an ISR swarm that may take just one person to control.

Policy

Army Special Operators Seek to Reduce Suicide with ‘Bottom-Led’ Approach

Units have been ordered to develop anti-suicide efforts based on the USASOC's new strategy.

Policy

Ukraine, Irregular-War Changes Are Reshaping Pentagon’s Info-Ops Strategy

Civilians reporting military movements and a return to proxy war will inform the first IO update in seven years.

Policy

Special Operators Lack ‘Seat at the Table’ in Post-Counterterror Pentagon, SOF Leaders Say

Even as U.S.-trained Ukranians show their mettle, SOF is getting lost in the transition to great power competition, says the assistant defense secretary for special ops.

Threats

The US’s New Tool for Deterrence Isn’t Ready

The “SOF, space, and cyber triad” is meant to serve as an integrated deterrent, much like the nuclear triad.

Threats

Army Special Ops Is Changing Psyops Training to Reflect Ukraine War

Even as some operators chafe at rules that keep them out of the fight, they are keenly interested in how Ukrainians are applying their U.S. training.

Policy

Oversight of Special Operations Forces Requires Better Data, Watchdog Says

The data collected by U.S. Special Operations Command lacks consistency and transparency, the Government Accountability Office found.

Threats

This Gen-Z Value Could Spell Trouble for Spec Ops Community

CNA looked at the leadership traits valued by today’s youth, special operators, and strategists of tomorrow.

Threats

New ‘Influence Triad’ Will Fuse SOF, Cyber, and Space Command Satellite Intelligence

Information warfare cells, where space units and SOCOM work side by side, will be dispersed throughout combatant commands.

Business

SOCOM Orders Cropduster Attack Planes from L3Harris Technologies

The contract, which could grow to 75 aircraft, marks a major victory for proponents of prop-driven close air support.

Policy

SOCOM Nominee Sees China Fight As More Partner Building, Less Door Kicking

The SOCOM mission in the age of high-end conflict a lot less flashy than Zero Dark Thirty

Science & Tech

‘Collaborative, Portable Autonomy’ Is the Future of AI for Special Operations

Creating autonomous teams in contested environments will be a challenge of technology—and policy.

Ideas

Another Killer Dressed Up Like a Special Operator

The SOF community could do more to protect what they’ve earned and shame wannabes who dress to kill.

Policy

What Have US Special Operators Learned from the Ukraine War?

The Army, for one, is considering creating a special-operations drone specialty.

Science & Tech

Air Force Special Operations Looks To Reinvent Itself On the Cheap

Cargo planes that drop cruise missiles from pallets and land on water show how air special operators are trying to trick out what they’ve already got on the tarmac.

Science & Tech

General Atomics Unveils New Drone That Carries 16 Hellfire Missiles 

The Mojave, marketed for special forces, doesn’t need a traditional runway to launch.