A pretty detailed overview from ADM McRaven. I am going to start counting how many times people now invoke the Philippines as an example. But it is good to hear broader discussion about Special Operations in Asia. However, I have to take some exception to this statement from ADM McRaven and offer a counterpoint.
Socom also has to consider, he said, how to move Special Forces "A" teams, Marine special operations teams, Navy SEAL platoons and the platforms that support them in and out of theater quickly. That requires working closely with each of the services, he noted.
I would submit that we should not be figuring out how to move Special Forces Operational Detachments Alpha (SFODAs) "in and out of theater quickly." What we need to be doing is figuring out how to have them remain in theater for long duration. While we definitely want to be abel to get Surgical Strike forces in and out of theater quickly, we need those forces conducting Special Warfare to remain in theater. We really should be exploring the potential for stationing Special Forces in theater (more than just 1-10 SFG in Germany and 1-1 SFG in Okinawa). We have some good historical examples as models that have worked (and continue to work as in the case of Special Forces Detachment Korea (Det 39) - which as an aside is the longest continuously serving US Special Forces organization in Asia). Potential examples include the 46th SF Company in Thailand, DET-A in Berlin, and DET-T in Taiwan, all with different force structure and missions based on the regional conditions and strategy. Although it is counterintuitive to most, effective Special Warfare is characterized by more deliberate planning for the long term while Surgical Strike requires the rapid deployment capability. Sure CONUS based Special Forces will still have to deploy and redeploy but if there are forward stationed forces in key areas in theater SF can provide a range of options to the Theater Commander as well as assist in providing situational understanding.