tories, and in 1994 the program was expanded to include Russia. This was in addition to SOF participation in such annual exercises as Cobra Gold in Thailand. SOF humanitarian and Civil Affairs personnel responded to the destruction caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991. Since 1993 US Army PSYOP and Special Forces troops have been involved in instructing Cambodian military personnel in the difficult--and increasingly visible--task of mine-clearing. Some analysts see a potential for a wide range of operations in the region at the request of host nations. It is particularly interesting to note that the recently confirmed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Henry Shelton, previously held the position of Commander, US Special Operations Command. 66
The United States possesses the largest, best-trained and best equipped modern Special Operations Forces in the world today. In the years to come they may increasingly make their presence felt in the Asia-Pacific region.
The US Army and Special Forces are second to none in the world in terms of effective ground forces. Although the likelihood of major ground combat outside of Korea is low, US Army and Special Forces will continue to play an important role in Asia- Pacific security for many years.