Adm. William H. McRaven (center) has called for more flexibility in how Special Operations forces are used. REUTERS

A top military official is seeking more freedom for the Special Operations forces that are playing an increasingly prominent role in America's military strategy, according to The New York Times.

Adm. William H. McRaven is pushing the White House for the authority to have Special Operations forces operate in more countries and with fewer constraints when they want to launch an operation. McRaven oversees Special Operations Command, an entity that includes elite units such as the Navy SEALs, the Army's Green Berets, Air Force Air Commandos and Marine Corps Special Operations teams.

McRaven's proposal would accelerate the process for deploying troops overseas and would increase the number of Special Operations commandos engaged in attacking terrorists, gathering intelligence and conducting training abroad, according to The Times.

It's not really about Socom running the global war on terrorism, McRaven told the Times, referring to the Special Operations Command. I don't think we're ready to do that.

Still, the proposal is the latest sign that modern warfare is shifting away from conventional armies to smaller, more nimble units. Counterterrorism operations such as drone strikes on suspected terrorists and the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden, reflect the effectiveness of Special Operations forces in an age of asymmetrical warfare. While the Pentagon is bracing for more than half a trillion dollars in defense budget cuts, Special Operations forces will be spared the budget axe.