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Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC) is the principal civilian advisor to the Secretary of Defense on special operations and low-intensity conflict matters. The ASD (SO/LIC) has as his principal duty overall supervision (to include oversight of policy and resources) of special operations and low-intensity conflict activities. These core tasks, according to USSOCOM's 2007 Posture Statement, include counterterrorism; unconventional warfare; direct action; special reconnaissance; foreign internal defense; civil affairs, information and psychological operations; and counterproliferation of WMD. Section 167 of Title 10 USC provides a very similar but not identical list of SOF activities.

In addition to policy oversight for special operations and stability operations capabilities, the ASD (SO/LIC) has policy oversight for strategic capabilities and force transformation and resources. As such, ASD (SO/LIC), after the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, will be the principal official charged with oversight over all warfighting capabilities within the senior management of the Department of Defense.

Leadership

Assistant Secretary of Defense

for Special Operations and Low-

Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC)

Mr. Owen West is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. Previously, Mr. West worked for Goldman, Sachs as an energy trader. He has 19 years of experience in risk-management and the most volatile international markets, leading the global natural gas and U.S. power businesses.

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Principal Deputy Assistant

Secretary of Defense for Special

Operations/Low-Intensity

Conflict

Mr. Mark Mitchell is confirmed as the PDASD for SO/LIC. Mark E. Mitchell is a highly decorated U.S. Army combat veteran in the Special Operations Community with extensive experience in the Middle East and South Asia. He brings 28 years of national level defense and counterterrorism policy experience to the Policy team. 

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