The Hill 
April 1, 2012
As the Pentagon begins to wind down the war in Afghanistan, the smaller conflicts elite U.S. forces are fighting around the world are heating up.
But DoD needs more than just men and materiel to meet these challenges. It needs additional authority from Congress to do so.
“Most of the authorities that we have right now are narrowly construed to counterterrorism … [but] I think for some countries we may need a little bit more flexibility to go in there,” Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, told lawmakers on Tuesday.
The majority of counterterrorism missions by U.S. special forces have been focused on al Qaeda and Taliban cells in Afghanistan and the Middle East region.