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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

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC)

Mr. Ezra Cohen is currently the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. In this role, he is responsible for all policy formulation and oversight for Department of Defense counterterrorism, special operations, counternarcotics, detainee affairs, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and stability operations. Separately, Mr. Cohen provides oversight of all organize, train, and equip activities for United States Special Operations Command, and ensures alignment of a $14 billion budget with the National Security and National Defense strategies.

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

Mr. Ezra Cohen is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict. He oversees a budget of approximately $1 billion. He leads the Department of Defense's global counterdrug, counter transnational organized crime, and counter-threat finance policies, resource allocation, and implementation, among other global issues. Mr. Cohen reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations & Low-Intensity Conflict in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

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