US SOCOM Defines New Priorities

US SOCOM Defines New Priorities

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As quantum computers become more readily available, the concern is that they will be able to guess passwords and break through the layers of security in current communications technology.

U.S. Special Operations Command is prioritizing finding technology to improve the encryption of its communications. “I personally changed our modernization priorities and restructured our funding to modernize those capabilities,” SOCOM Commander Gen. Richard Clarke told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing about the need for stronger encryption as quantum computing emerges as a threat to traditional security measures.

For the past two decades, SOCOM has mostly focused on fighting non-state actors with limited tech. But as the entire military pivots to great power competition, it’s expected that strategic competitors like China and Russia will bring more-advanced cybersecurity and technology means to any fight.

“We also have to have encrypted communications and electronic warfare capabilities so that our forces…reduce the probability of them to be targeted,” Clarke told lawmakers.

According to, other new priorities for the command are “data and data management,” Clarke added. SOCOM has been a leader in testing new artificial intelligence capabilities, like predictive maintenance for its helicopters.