Army Strongly Considering 10-20% Cut To Special Ops Forces

Army Strongly Considering 10-20% Cut To Special Ops Forces

Army Strongly Considering 10-20% Cut To Special Ops Forces

The Army has a serious recruiting problem. One of their solutions? Hey! Let’s cut our Special Ops Forces by 10-20%! Yes folks, that’s really what they are considering.

The Army is cutting about 3,000 troops, or about 10% from its special-operations ranks, which could include so-called trigger-pullers from the Green Beret commando units who have conducted some of the nation’s most dangerous and sensitive missions around the world, from the jungles of Vietnam to the back alleys of Baghdad.

The reductions would enable the Army to rebalance toward the large conventional ground forces needed in a potential fight in Asia. The trims in the ranks of special forces would also help the Army cope with a recruiting shortfall in a strong labor market. But opponents of the cuts, notably senior special-operations officers, have argued they could hinder training of U.S. partners, including the Ukrainian and Taiwanese militaries, and limit the elite units’ ability to respond to crises.

This is an asinine idea that will blow a significant crater in our current war fighting capabilities. Yet doing this, according to the brilliantly idiotic minds at the Pentagon will “rebalance” our forces and magically ramp up recruitment? AYFKM??!! 

Kenneth Tovo, a retired Army lieutenant general who led U.S. Army Special Operations Command, was asked by Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., at a Senate hearing on Wednesday about “the administration’s plans to cut 10 percent of U.S. Army Special Operations Forces” and their likely effect on the service’s ability “to provide combatant commanders with options for great power competition, counterterrorism and crisis response.”

“I think it’ll be crippling,” said Tovo, who was speaking before the Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities. “10 percent of the force is going to be a significant—…the higher end is even 20 percent.”


“I’m told that the cuts will be most acute on SOF enablers like logistics and intelligence, but that some changes to force structure are also likely for Special Forces, civil affairs, psychological operations,” the aide said.

Why yes, it would be, WILL BE crippling to our military capabilities and readiness. WHY would cutting logistics and intelligence be on the table? If we don’t have intel or logistics, then we can’t put good people in place who can quickly move to kill a major ISIS terrorist and capture his wife!

Our history is replete with times when intelligence failed or wasn’t listened to. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are two such examples. If we don’t have a strong logistics team in place, our ability to respond quickly to a threat is hindered. 

Again, why in the ever loving hell would our military consider dumping 10-20% of our Special Ops Forces in the midst of a massive recruiting crisis??

There are definitely other ways to recruit that do not include getting rid of a significant percentage of some of our best warfighters out there. One example is from this guy, who wrote a book about how to get Gen Z to step up. 

Nowhere that I can find does that mean decimating our current force capabilities! Getting rid of 10-20% of our Special Ops forces would cause numerous problems within our military and with our allies. 

While recognizing the strengths SOF has always displayed in combat, what truly made SOF “special” historically has been our ability to generate disproportionate strategic effects in highly complex and contested environments via small and uniquely skilled teams. Certainly, in many instances this required our forces to show incredible combat proficiency. What is less well understood by the general public, yet something we must never forget, is not only how well we can deliver precise kinetic force, though that is certainly important; what matters most is whether we “solve the problem” our nation needs solved, and not necessarily whether the solution requires lethal action.

Logistics and intelligence are two critical factors in the effectiveness of our SOF forces, and yet they want to cut those numbers?? 

Oh sure, quite a few think cutting 3700 troops isn’t a problem. Except it IS. You can’t just recruit a soldier, send him through Basic and viola! Ready for Special Ops logistics or intel! It. Does. Not. Work. That. Way! At all. 

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said at the hearing, “You cannot mass-produce [special operations forces] in a crisis. And we can’t get to a point where we’re faced with a crisis and we do not have the operators that are able to step forward. So, we really do have to push back against that.”

Tovo said cuts in intelligence enablers would be “devastating.”

“We’re a force that is very much driven by our intelligence community,” he said. “And if the cuts are taken there—and that’s one of the places that the service I believe wants to take the cuts—that will be devastating. Without the intelligence capability, our operational capability is hobbled at best.”

Guess who’s on board with this idea?

Yes indeed, Lloyd Austin signed off on this while on the way out the door to retirement. The same guy who refuses to take ANY responsibility for the Afghanistan debacle, mandated vaccines, coddled transgender soldiers, pushes DEI issues – all of which are contributing to our recruitment problem! 

We face significant threats from China, Iran, and others. Cutting our current capabilities is an incredibly bad idea and puts our national security at risk.

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

Feature Photo Credit: Three soldiers at dusk via iStock, cropped and modified

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  • Lloyd says:

    Hey…we gotta cut our military’s budget: We can’t fund Ukraine and our guys too. The “Big Guy” puts others before our own troops!

  • SFC D says:

    Just by-God brilliant. We’ve increased our usage and dependence on Special Ops since 911, but now we suddenly can’t afford them because the military can’t attract qualified recruits? Woke bullshit will end this nation.

  • Hate_me says:

    The political class hasn’t been concerned with actually winning wars since at least the Spanish-American War don’t remember the Maine, it wasn’t a harbor mine).

    Wilson relied on the mutual defense pacts that ultimately drew the entire Western world into WWI (history loves analogy); FDR tried to time D-Day around the midterms, not Military efficiency; Clinton bombed a cosmetics factory in Jordan to offset his impeachment by a day.

    Carter is the only one to actually take the blame for a failed foreign policy with Eagle Claw (“I wish I’d sent one more helicopter…”), but even he follows up that statement with, “…I would have been re-elected.”

  • Bucky says:

    The Pentagon has a tough choice – money for either Special Ops or more DEI personnel. Can’t have both it seems.

  • Liz says:

    Guess I’ll state the obvious which everyone already knows…
    special ops are deployed all of the time NOW. They are also human beings with families. It isn’t going to help retention to lower the number even further.

    Per retention/recruitment, so much of this is the fault of commanders.
    My spouse always thought that wing commanders should be promoted based primarily on two variables: retention, and base performance (of the main objective…flying planes, not DEI crap). Millennials and gen Z want the same things the older generation wants. They have less tolerance for nonsense though.

    It’s interesting that kid who wrote the “We Don’t Want You Uncle Sam” has only been in the service for a year and a half. Did he start writing it before he was in? Not saying he can’t have insight being so new…but that is a very limited amount of time to have experience to fill a book.
    I agree with some of his points (camaraderie, purpose, things like that are what draw people to the services…also agree on the bureaucracy nonsense). I don’t agree on individual bonus pay. There is already a system in place to reward achievement with advancement and more pay. There are bonuses for career fields, languages, skill sets. Individual bonuses would make competition between soldiers and in my opinion (and my spouse’s…and Stephen Covey for that matter, who wrote on the subject) it is better to reward the group with something like a goal day (day off work for reaching a goal). That way they will work together to obtain the objective, rather than against each other to get the extra pay.
    On an individual level, a day off for maxing the PT test or something like that might work (I know my son is going to max his PT every time in part because he is given a day off for it).

    Side note: We do know a former Marine who was told by the military doctor that the covid vaccine might kill him due to a condition he had, but he was not permitted to refuse it (covid vaccines had no exemptions in the military, to my knowledge, even for those with exemptions for other types of vaccines). He got out, obviously, rather than taking the risk. But if you want to know what sort of thing radicalizes a person…that is it. Think he is going to recommend his children enlist?

  • Liz says:

    Another side note:
    I’ll cite the example of the pilot bonus, which kicked in at the 12 year mark if memory serves. Maybe it was 10 (after the initial commitment)
    That was necessary because pilots have a lot of options (more now than ever) outside the military, and after that length of time they have an amount of experience beyond price (best case). Most of the “pilot shortage” right now has nothing to do with people who want to go into pilot training, and much more with the dearth of instructors to teach them. They’ve seen this happening for a long while.
    …so (again) the bonuses were necessary.
    Our family was very unusual as we did not take the bonus money.
    Although my spouse finished out with 25 years, he always wanted the option to leave.
    The bonuses did impact things a bit…lifestyles were very different between the “haves” and “have nots”.
    And the expectation for everyone was that if you’d been in for a number of years you had taken the bonus.
    It made things weird and difficult at times (expectations for gifts and expensive parties and so forth).

  • […] OH, SURE. THAT’S WHAT WE NEED RIGHT NOW:  Army Strongly Considering 10-20% Cut To Special Ops Forces. […]

  • Martin Dreeder says:

    This is a painful, shill posting for SOCOM and USASOC. LTG (Ret.) Tovo, former USASOC CG, isn’t an unbiased observer. He’s regurgitating SOCOM’s/USASOC’s hysteric talking points. SOF has lived high on the hog for two decades. Now it’s time to take a little off the top.

  • elmer says:

    Perhaps our leaders are gearing up for a conventional war with China (which would be stupid), where “special forces” won’t be of much use. Having spent a few years in the Army back in the day I have often wondered what has been the historical benefit to our country from Army Special Forces operations, however glorious their exploits may have been. Those Special Forces activities, essentially training of counter militias, could well be carried out by regular Army divisions. Seems we often build up foreign militias and then abandon them when politicians decide to pull up the tent stakes.

  • Richard says:

    The conventional military has always hated Special Forces. Now they see their chance.

    It will definitely degrade overall capacity, especially in an unconventional war. Given the unconventional war that TBTB are lusting for (the one on Americans), there may be a silver lining here.

    • Liz says:

      They will just hire mercenaries, aka “contractors” who “specialize”.
      TPTB will do what they want, and if they can use more of our money AND get some into their pockets via “private industry” that’s a twofer.

  • eltee says:

    Take the one thing that stands out…the one thing that works, and in the name of ‘equity’……..?

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