Tags: Army | special forces | deployments | operations

General: 'Unsustainable' Special Forces Deployments a 'Strain'

General: 'Unsustainable' Special Forces Deployments a 'Strain'
Army Gen. Raymond Thomas (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By    |   Thursday, 04 May 2017 09:17 PM

The breakneck pace at which the United States deploys its special operations forces to conflict zones is taking a toll, their top commander told Congress on Thursday.

Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, who heads U.S. Special Operations Command, called the rate at which special operations forces are being deployed "unsustainable," asserting the growing reliance of the U.S. military on its elite troops could produce a dangerous strain.

"We are not a panacea," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, per the Miami Herald. "We are not the ultimate solution to every problem, and you will not hear that coming from us."

About 8,000 U.S. special forces are currently deployed in more than 80 countries, Thomas said, Stars and Stripes reported.

The Herald noted many of those forces are advising missions in Syria and Iraq as well as counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan. There are about 500 special operators in Syria.

Under rapid-fire questioning from the committee's chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Thomas was initially reluctant to acknowledge his forces were being spread thin, Stars and Stripes reported.

But when Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., appeared skeptical when Thomas stated his force was able to maintain its current spread, Thomas conceded: "It is a strain; it is certainly not an easy burden, but we are adequately resourced," Stars and Stripes reported.

McCain also took the opportunity to decry defense spending limits Congress has imposed for "the most complex and daunting set of national security challenges this nation has faced since World War II."

"How can you plan in this budgetary environment when you lurch from crisis to crisis?" McCain asked Thomas, the military news outlet reported. "We owe your people some predictability."

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The breakneck pace at which the United States deploys its special operations forces to conflict zones is taking a toll, their top commander told Congress on Thursday.
Army, special forces, deployments, operations
278
2017-17-04
Thursday, 04 May 2017 09:17 PM
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