The top U.S. special operations officer, who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels, The New York Times reported Monday.
The newspaper said Admiral William McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command, is pushing for a larger role for his elite units who have traditionally operated in the dark corners of U.S. foreign policy.
The plan would give him more autonomy to position his forces and their war-fighting equipment where intelligence and global events indicate they are most needed, the report said.
It would also allow the special operations forces to expand their presence in regions where they have not operated in large numbers for the past decade, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the paper noted.
The Times said that similar plans in the past had foundered because of opposition from regional commanders and the State Department.
The military’s regional combatant commanders have feared a decrease of their authority, and some ambassadors in crisis zones have voiced concerns that commandos may carry out missions that are perceived to tread on a host country’s sovereignty, the paper said.