The nation’s chief watchdog agency is calling for more thorough oversight of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). In a May 13 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raised issues about the lack of time frames for implementing procedures that would ensure that SOCOM’s considerable recent growth is properly monitored. The report noted that the number of special operations troops has increased to 70,000 from 40,000 since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Specifically, GAO found that the Pentagon has yet to set timeframes for implementing plans, and not yet clearly described both the department’s and SOCOMs “roles and responsibilities.”
GAO recommended that Pentagon leadership should:
* Define the timeframes.
* Update existing guidance in regards to roles and responsibilities of all special-operations stakeholders.
* Continue making progress on its plans for “developing a strategic workforce.” This would include aligning existing plans with “long-term mission goals,” keeping key players informed, addressing “critical competency gaps,” and identifying personnel needs.