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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

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

Mr. Thomas Alexander is currently Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. Mr. Alexander was appointed as the Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict in November 2019. Previously he was appointed to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats in July 2017. In his current role, Mr. Alexander is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on all counterterrorism, special operations, counter narcotics, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and stability operations. He also 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 Defense Strategy. 

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

Mr. Thomas Alexander is currently Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. Mr. Alexander was appointed as the Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict in November 2019. Previously he was appointed to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats in July 2017. In his current role, Mr. Alexander is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on all counterterrorism, special operations, counter narcotics, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and stability operations. He also 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 Defense Strategy. 

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