The U.S. military’s Special Operations Command has backed off a plan giving it the power to conduct independent, top-secret missions in the war on terror, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

This is the latest move by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reverse policies set in motion by his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld believed the plan would be more effective in hunting terrorists than regional commanders, The Times reported.

But Roger Carstens, a 20-year veteran of Special Ops missions, told The Times that the faction’s job was not to be that “of a global Lone Ranger who shows up at the last second to dispatch the bad guys.”

Senior Pentagon and military officers maintain that Special Operations Command was not independently carrying out secret counterterrorism offensives.

Click here for the full story in The New York Times.