TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. special forces branches are changing their missions from high-profile anti-terrorism raids to "indirect action" such as training, their commander says.
In his first extended interview since becoming leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Adm. Eric Olson told the Los Angeles Times while secretive "direct action" operations remained necessary, "They are not by themselves decisive in the long term."
Olson said the Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force operatives he commands are increasingly being called on to impart their knowledge and techniques to friendly local militaries.
One example, he said, was in the Philippines, where the Green Berets carried out a seven-year mission to help the Filipino military take on the Abu Sayyaf Muslim separatist group.
"We pride ourselves, for good reason, on our ability to respond to the sound of guns," Olson told the Times in Tampa, Fla. "We also pride ourselves on our ability to move ahead of the sound of guns. If we can move ahead of the sound of guns, and prevent them, we're all better off."