U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) today announced he will chair the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee on the Armed Services Committee.  Smith also secured a seat on the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee when committee members chose their assignments today.  Smith’s seniority allowed him early picks from among the available positions.

“Our special ops teams need the best tools.  Our forces need protection from improvised explosive devices and other attacks.  They need better technology faster.  We need a new, better way forward in the global war on terror.  These are the challenges I look forward to addressing as chairman of the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee,” Smith said.

Smith added: “My new position on the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee will enhance my ability to support the critical work of our soldiers and airmen at Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.” 

The Air and Land Forces Subcommittee has jurisdiction over all Army and Air Force acquisition programs, and over National Guard and Army and Air Force Reserve equipment.

Background information on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities follows.

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities

The subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes:

Department of Defense (DoD) counter-terrorism programs and counter-proliferation initiatives.

  • Counter-terrorism.  Refers to instruments of national power to execute the Global War on Terror.  Examples include assistance to allied indigenous forces in the fight against terrorist groups and classified authorities for the use of Special Operations Forces (SOF) in foreign nations.
  • Counter-proliferation.* Involves finding and destroying WMD. Much of counter-proliferation involves Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). 

Special Operations Command (SOCOM) acquisition programs and policy.   Includes procurement and research, development, and testing and evaluation (RDT&E) accounts and an advisory role for SOCOM personnel policies. 

Force Protection Policy.  Covers measures and policies to protect deployed troops, including counter-IED protection measures and prevention of attacks against overseas bases.

Defense Advance Research Projects Authority (DARPA).  Responsible for the early-stage R&D and “radical innovation” required to develop new technology for use by the military.  DARPA’s charter is aimed at preventing “technological surprise.” 

Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).  Combat-support agency of the DoD.  Analyzes and provides contingency plans for threats to the U.S., both homeland and abroad.   Includes destroying WMD and developing technologies to reduce the threat of WMD.

DoD Information Technology.  Covers information systems, shared infrastructure (communications, computers, etc.), information assurance (computer security), and related technical activities. 

Science and Technology (S&T) policy.  Includes DoD R&D funding for basic research as well as the more applied R&D.

DoD Homeland Defense.  Covers DoD roles in homeland security, disaster response, etc.  Governs activities, policies and technology-sharing activities within the office of DoD’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and U.S. Northern Command (Colorado Springs, CO).  Allows for jurisdictional claim to many National Guard and other DoD border-related activities.

Chemical-Demilitarization program.  Destroys the U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons, as required under the Chemical Weapons Convention, ratified by the U.S. in 1997.

DoD Chemical and Biological defense program.  Provides chemical and biological defense capabilities.  Executed within DARPA, DTRA and the U.S. Army. 

Related intelligence support related to Special Operations Forces (SOF).   Classified.  Includes both policies and programs within the purview of SOCOM and also those larger and DoD-wide national programs within the jurisdiction of the Strategic Subcommittee (as they affect SOF).

*Counter-terrorism programs are distinct from non-proliferation programs, such as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, which focus on diplomacy and assistance to secure post-Soviet WMD.