“Serious ethical” and “moral failings” by some members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) are impacting “large scale missions” by eroding the morale and confidence of America’s allies, a top Pentagon official declared on Thursday.
His comments came after Rear Adm. Collin Green, the chief of Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC), conceded to the U.S. military-centric media outlet Task & Purpose that criminal and ethical issues gripping U.S. Navy SEALs “does affect readiness.”
NSWC, charged with overseeing the SEALs, is a component of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).Owen West, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, testified during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing focused on SOCOM’s budget and activities.
West testified alongside Gen. Raymond Thomas, the SOCOM commander.
The top Pentagon official told lawmakers that he is working with Gen. Thomas to “identify any potential systemic” ethical and moral problems, adding that they will hold accountable any special forces who engage in misconduct.