Not a Coup at DOD: How Acting Sec. Miller’s Reorganization May Improve Special Ops Oversight

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller has only been on the job for 10 days, but he is already making big waves. With announcements of major reductions in U.S. troop deployments and a reorganization of the oversight structure for special operations, Miller’s short tenure has been met with suspicion and sharp critiques from defense experts. But the move to revamp the oversight of special operations deserves further consideration, because Miller just may have landed on a valuable reform. Far from being a Trump power grab, it’s more likely that Miller’s moves on special operations oversight are the culmination of reforms he had long contemplated and can now oversee during his short tenure leading the Department.

In his remarks this week, Miller appeared to go well beyond Section 922, stating without caveat that he had “directed the special operations civilian leadership to report directly to [the Secretary] instead of through the current bureaucratic channels.” Until we see an official directive on the reorganization, we don’t know what all that entails or what it requires in terms of coordination with other parts of the Pentagon.

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