The structure of Army special operations forces, their capabilities and characteristic mission profiles, and the role of intelligence in supporting them are described in a newly disclosed U.S. Army field manual (pdf) [No. FM3-05.102 Army Special Operations Forces Intelligence]
There are nine distinct missions for Army special forces, including: unconventional warfare, direct action, counterproliferation, foreign internal defense, psychological operations, and "special activities," which is the DoD euphemism for covert action.
"Special activities fall under Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities," according to the Army field manual. "They require a presidential finding and congressional oversight. ARSOF [Army Special Operations Forces] conduct them abroad in support of national foreign policy objectives, but in a manner that USG [US Government] participation is neither apparent nor publicly acknowledged."
The 200-page Army field manual, which remains in effect, was issued in 2001.