Most everyone agrees the threat posed by terrorism is far from extinguished, but the focus of the fight will shift toward dealing with near pear adversaries. A former Army commander speaking under the condition of anonymity admitted that there will be a cost associated with the American withdrawal from Afghanistan just as there was a cost to their being there.
David Maxwell, a retired Green Beret colonel whose field of expertise includes irregular and political warfare, says SOF will need to reevaluate their focus as more overarching strategy shifts to a potential near peer conflict.
Our special operations’ counterterrorism ability is second to none, and will be maintained, but more unconventional methods will be required for continued future success. The forming and strengthening of partnerships around the world with the intention of countering China and Russia will become a top priority. Raids may continue to be conducted but unlike during the previous 20 years, operators will slip into the darkness rather than returning to a base in the target country.