Please join the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and its Forward Defense program for an event on “Special Operations in a New Era of Strategic Competition.”

This event will take place on Thursday, March 7, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm ET in-person at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters (1030 15th Street, 12th Floor, NW, Washington, DC 20005) and via Zoom. To attend virtually, please register using our form.

As the United States and its allies confront an increasingly complex security landscape, where rivals like China and Russia leverage all facets of national power to undermine stability and prosperity, Special Operations Forces (SOF) have an important and underappreciated role to play in strategic competition. SOF possess a distinct and unique set of skills, competencies, and capabilities honed through rigorous training and in-depth global experience. Renowned for their light footprint and stealth approach, SOF units operate within the shadows of conflict, executing specialized, joint operations tailored to the complexities of modern warfare. Today, they are most often known for their pivotal role in the global war on terror, but their utility transcends this narrative, particularly in the current era of strategic competition.

In today’s strategic competition, United States SOF’s (USSOF) capabilities offer an opportunity to counter hostile activities and advance US strategic objectives across diverse theaters and domains. The expertise and specialized skills of USSOF can shape the outcome of strategic competition and safeguard global security in an increasingly volatile world.

This event will examine how the USSOF community—guided by the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (ASD(SO/LIC)) and US Special Operations Command (SOCOM)—and the Department of Defense writ large must adjust its operations to meet the security challenges facing the United States in the 2020s and beyond. Join us on Monday, March 7, as the Honorable Christopher Maier, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, discusses his priorities to ensure the SOF community can contribute to the National Defense Strategy’s objectives to deter, and if necessary, prevail in conflict today and in the decades to come.

We hope you can join us for this important and timely discussion. To register to attend in person or receive the virtual Zoom link, please complete the form on the right-hand side of the screen.


The Hon. Christopher P. Maier

Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict

Moderated by

Courtney Kube

NBC News Correspondent covering National Security and the Pentagon, NBC News

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.

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