To solve global issues and protect common interests, Special Operations Forces (SOF) from the United States and its allies must develop their capabilities, emphasize strategic competition, and collaborate more closely. This was made clear during discussions at the SOF Week conference.
Discussions at the SOF Week conference in Tampa, Florida, revolve around the need for the U.S. and allied Special Operations Forces (SOF) to enhance their capabilities and preparedness in the face of increasing strategic tensions and conflicts. The National Defense Strategy emphasizes integrated deterrence, campaigning, and building enduring advantages for U.S. SOF, with the aim of achieving victory without direct combat whenever possible. SOF’s historical success lies in their ability to solve complex problems and generate strategic effects through small, highly skilled teams, often beyond kinetic power alone. The rejuvenation of SOF since the 1987 Nunn-Cohen Amendment has focused on quality, the skill of personnel, and integration across military, interagency, and international networks. While counterterrorism remains important, SOF must prioritize activities that contribute to the United States’ competition with great-power adversaries, strengthening traditional roles and developing new methods applicable to strategic competition. The emphasis is on collaboration, integration, and readiness to address global challenges and safeguard shared interests.