develop special operators and capabilities to support them is a factor. It is also a factor in locating and developing HUMINT sources, which inevitably take years. As we have seen, those sources are critical in the global war on terrorism, and reliable intelligence depends on input from several of these sources at a time.
Clearly, a lot of things need to change before DoD and the IC capabilities truly merge to give SOF the kind of support it needs out there on the point of the spear. We’ve seen a lot of progress since 9/11. We’ve also seen some missteps; missteps that unfortunately cost lives. But OEF and OIF have proven the efficacy of the special operations/intelligence community partnership, both as the primary force and as an enabler for large conventional forces in major conflict. If small wars, fought with speed, precision and flexibility are the future of the global war on terrorism, then special operations and the intelligence that supports them will continue to be at the focus.
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