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Navy Role in Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism: Background and Issues for Congress
Ronald O’Rourke (au)
Statements from Sec. of Defense Robert Gates and other Dept. of Defense (DOD) officials suggest that the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) that is currently in progress may lead to an increased emphasis in future U.S. defense budgets on capabilities for conducting irregular warfare (IW) operations, such as counterinsurgency operations. In addition, counterterrorism (CT) operations have received an increased emphasis since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of IW and CT activities, and has taken some steps in recent years to strengthen its ability to conduct such activities. The overall issue for Congress is how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets, and whether decisions reached by DOD on this issue in the QDR are appropriate. In addition, the Navy’s IW and CT activities pose some specific potential oversight issues for Congress. Contents of this Congressional Research Service (CRS) by Ronald O’Rourke, Specialist in Navy Affairs: (I) Introduction; (II) Background: Longstanding Navy Activities; Initiatives Since 2005; Current Operations; FY2010 Funding Request; Navy Irregular Warfare Office; Global Maritime Partnership (Previously 1,000-Ship Navy); Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC); Riverine Force; Global Fleet Stations (GFSs); (III) Potential Oversight Issues for Congress: IW and CT in Future Navy Budgets; Specific Oversight Questions.
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