Before Trump left office, then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper secretly moved to hand over control of influence campaigns to the army. The policy shift reflects a rift among military and diplomatic leaders over how the US conducts gray-area missions that aren’t full-fledged wars. Today, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is contemplating whether or not to keep the policy adjustment. The change in rules occurs as the US military turns its attention away from Afghanistan and toward confrontations with Russia and China.
The Crossroads of Special Operations