US Global Politics and the Role of Special Forces

By Roberto García (The Havana Reporter)
The implications of the most recent changes to the global strategy of the United States, prioritizing the deployment of Special Operations Forces (SOPs) in overseas conflicts have recently been highlighted by experts and the media. Events in the Ukraine over the past few weeks where groups backed by the west forcefully overthrew president Victor Yanukovich, and the ultra right-wing ́s attempts to destabilize the government in Venezuela are two examples of the practical application of the Pentagon’s new concepts.
The reality corroborates the recent charge from Cuban President Raul Castro, made
at the closure of the Cuba Workers ́ Conference (CTC) congress. The Cuban leader indicated that these developments “confirm that wherever there is a government not amenable to the interests of powerful U.S. circles or those of their European allies, it becomes a target for subversive campaigns.”
He added that without ruling out violent intervention, new, more subtle, secretive
and erosive methods are now being used…. “I invite anyone with doubts in this regard to refer to the U.S. Armed Forces Training Circular TC-1801 which, titled Unconventional Warfare (UCW), was issued in November 2010,” he said.
This is a 180-page document dealing with the operational methodology of elite
groups made up of Rangers, Delta Forces, Green Berets, SEALs and others when
undertaking subversive missions abroad.
In accordance with the text and in the context of the UCW mission, the objectives
are to identify the psychological, political, economic and military vulnerabilities of an adversary in order to attain U.S. strategic objectives.
Among the tasks that these SOPs undertake are the empowerment of subversive
movements, similar to what they are doing presently in Syria with armed mercenaries that oppose the Damascus Government.
The document mentions examples such as the moves made to destabilize
Guatemala during the Jacobo Arbenz presidency in 1954, Cuba during the 1960 ́s and Nicaragua in the 1980 ́s.
Now however, U.S. foreign policy has as its foundation the deployment of SOPs, in
close coordination with the intelligence community, particularly the CIA.
A recent report by the so-called Rand Corporation think-tank indicates that SOPs
now carry out more missions than ever before, that their funding has increased fivefold since 2001 and their budget allocation for 2015 has risen to more than seven billion dollars.
A review of Washington’s security policies in the Western hemisphere undertaken in
2013 by the Washington Office on Latin America and other academic institutions reveals an increase in the presence of SOPs, supposedly to participate in the war on drugs.
USAID administrators acknowledge that the White House has used this conduit to
pay anti-government groups in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador.
The Pentagon has at its disposition local USAID representatives as well as the
U.S. State Department’s Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization Office [SA1] in nations where there is armed conflict, to improve its operational capability and psychological operations, to influence local populations.