Future funding for special operations forces looks bright, analysts say
American special operations such as Navy SEALS focus on 'high-value targets' in commando raids.
May 5th, 2011
07:34 PM ET

Future funding for special operations forces looks bright, analysts say

The Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden highlights the return on investment the United States gets from special operations forces, analysts said.

Special operations forces receive about $10 billion, or 2 percent, of an annual defense budget of $670 billion, said Travis Sharp, researcher with Center for a New American Security, a think tank that focuses on terrorism and irregular warfare techniques.

"Special operations have become such a large part of what we do," said Sharp. "They've come to dominate actually, a lot of the policy agendas for people hear in Washington."

The drawn-out deployment in Afghanistan proves terrorism isn't fought with 100,000 boots on the ground, said Democratic Congressman John Garamendi, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. It's deep intelligence gathering coupled with smaller special ops forces, whose skill set proves invaluable in sensitive missions targeting terrorists.

"It's quick, it's stealthy, it's deadly and it’s effective,” he said.

Special operations forces have been around for a while. The Army’s elite Green Berets formed in 1952 and the NAVY created the first SEAL team in 1962. Vietnam and the guerrilla warfare tactics of the North Vietnamese army made it apparent to military leaders and strategists that it wasn't about how much territory you controlled, but rather, finding and eliminating an elusive enemy.

The SEAL Team 6 was created in 1980 after a failed mission to rescue Americans in Iran. The Air Force created a special operations wing in 1983. The Marines have the youngest special forces command, which was formed in 2005.

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Filed under: Military • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. nur amabo nur

    Wait just a second... Could this headline be changed to.. Taxes going up so we can spend more on stuff you'll never hear about ?

    May 6, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. American Soldier

    I see that the right-wing,ignorant,foul-speaking,anti-intellectual Tea Partiers took over this web page,too. Their profanity gives them away and I'm sick and tired of it. As for the bozoes in the so-called "special operations",they're already vastly overpaid as is the rest of the military. Enough is enough!!!

    May 6, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Educated American

      You have no idea how stupid you sound. The military budget is quite different than how you think it is. Why don't you look it up?
      Google that stuff and maybe you'll start to sound like you know what you're talking about for once.
      And I'm not a brain-damaged Teabagger. I'm not even a right-winger.
      I am here looking for dumb crap and found yours.

      May 6, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • mcmurdo

      Bozo? Really? Sounds like you are one of those who didn't make the cut. No true American soldier would make a statement like that about someone willing to give their life for their country. What a pig!

      May 6, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Thank you,American Soldier. Your post above is one of the most sensible ones I've seen here yet. I know that it will probably upset a lot of these uneducated lemmings here,but so be it!!!

      May 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joey

    The Reality and Malcolm comments are not from me.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    I know, Joey. You've been hijacked.

    May 6, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Linari

    He's the same guy who posts under Ruffnutt, George Patton, and others. He likes to hijack names...he's a troll. He's no more an American Soldier than I am the Queen of England. He's a troll that doesn't post gross filth, like some, but he is a troll.

    May 6, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    **********yawn************ Hi troll. Is that all you got? BORING!! Hahaahah

    May 6, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey

    @ banasy, I THINK:
    Hello if that was you. I am so highjacked, so many times, that nobody could know my real POV here.
    I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative.
    I support Obama in almost everything he's doing now, notably killing bin Laden.
    I would still be a loyal Republican if the party hadn't been highjacked by the backward.

    May 6, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey

    Please stop highjacking me.

    May 6, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    @monkey: Good morning monkey. I see you posted with my name. If that is the best you can do, BORING! Hahahahahahaahaa

    May 6, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey


    May 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey

    I would never end a sentence with more than one exclamation point.
    I write with words, Troll.
    Try it.

    May 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey

    I advocate paying the elite, special operations combatants as much as the market demands.
    These experts earn their money.
    And now may:
    "All Praise and Glory be rendered unto Them and to their Names, and to their spiritually hidden Fame and Honor, for their eternally splendid success and valor in Pakistan (which POO Be Upon)."

    May 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sophie Starrett

    Poor news – Syria's 'mutilation mystery' increases...

    December 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
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