Deputy Secretary of Defense Carter speaks on rebalancing global challenges
Ashton opened his speech by saying special operations forces were an important part of World War II. Their roles, from war to war, have varied from infiltrating enemy lines, partnering with allies on sensitive operations and assuming the most dangerous tasks.
Ashton said the special forces were crucial in many conflicts, particularly in Iraq and the raid on Bin Ladin. He then said the SOF must go through a transition.
"As we gather this morning, the United States is once again at a moment of strategic transition - facing new threats and new adversaries, but also new opportunities," Ashton said. "As a nation, we've been here before - after World War II, after Vietnam, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Following two long and hard wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are now turning a strategic corner - shifting from the post-9/11 era dominated by these wars to the challenges and opportunities that will define our future."
Ashton then discussed how the SOF will fit into the current budget crisis, which has been a point of concern for the DOD. He went on to say that the SOF is a key part of the U.S.' future, even though they will be faced with budget issues.
"As we turn the page to a new chapter of American history, what is clear is that the SOF community will be part of this endeavor," Ashton said. "The task before us is one that has existed as long as nations have fought wars - how to align resources with priorities."