I’m not sure the ‘combat as training’ is very doctrinally sound.
Sorry, I’m not into doctrines. If we follow the Admiral’s argument—and doctrine—training is more important than fighting the existing and on-going war.
So what do you propose—curtailing spec. ops for a period of training? Of course, that would mean giving up the combat initiative wouldn’t it? Have you considered what the enemy would be doing during the lull in U.S. spec. ops? Do you think targets of opportunity will disappear while we’re in training mode? Spec. ops, by definition, are just that. They are designed to create or take advantage of opportunity. Who can predict when opportunity will come knocking?
Oh, and if I accept the Admiral’s premise is he telling me that every spec. op unit and soldier is engaged at the same time? If this is so, then the solution is to create more spec op units—not abate battle tempo.
Just a few thoughts on the matter.