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. Frank

    I like to feel a "large" man behind me (if you know what I mean).

    May 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    Me to

    May 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Malcolm

    CNN my fav new station, but i can't believe that you guys have been covering this Obama going to ground zero and havent once mention the undeniable facts of 9/11. I understand the gov controls the media, but there has to be someone out there that is human enough to speak out on the media. It boggles my mind that CNN -among other new stations – is helping cover this crap up. Unbelievable!

    May 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    @fake Cesar, I have the picture you mfker, and its signed by Osama, he even sent me some pubic hair, Oh, I'm in heaven.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    Me and my butt buddie Cesar like to touch each others wieners and giggle.
    tee hee.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    You selfish SOB, why can't you share it with me, please send me a copy, I can pay you $100 bucks, I need it, ......please......please make my life happy, I'm begging you, at least send some pubic hair, I'll send you mine.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @Frank, listen mofker, I don't like small priks, remember I have a big ass, I only shove huge things up my ass, no lubricant needed, I'm very lucky to have this big hole, its a dream come true, anything can go in, nothing comes out. Wow, what an ass.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Malcolm

    CNN YOUR AWESOME! you have had like 5 people on your show today that lost people in 9/11. Everyone of them blamed Usama Bin Laden. Why dont you find a victims family that isn't brainwashed! Get a real family on there so they can tell the truth! Gaurantee all these familes are fake. They never once showed pictures of their loved ones just themselves. Weak.....

    May 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Thank you Malcolm for saying the right thing here. It seems that CNN wants to make right-wing nutjobs out of all of us and that is quite sickening. What about the people we victimized in places like Korea,Vietnam and Iraq? That they won't talk about!!!

      May 6, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. nur amabo nur

    Don't forget they want to quadruple the size of TSA. They want to touch your junk as you leave and enter your home. By the way the new internet laws in the works here are the same laws that China said no to because they were to draconian.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Malcolm

    Out of all the journalists, I would have thought Elliot Spitzer would have wanted to investigate the truth after all he mentions he was AG OF NY 20 times a show....Ya he doesnt have to give his opinion but at least get someone on there that isnt lying out there ass. CNN is killing their reputation by putting phonys on. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!

    May 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    @fake Cesar; I understand that you have a big hole, but don't be mistaken, I to have a big butt, and maybe its bigger than yours, I can put a watermelon up my ass, and don't even blink, how bout that.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Frank

    I like it when 2 jig-a-boos drill my poop chute. That's only one less than my mother!

    May 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Linari

    And what exactly is the truth, according to you, Malcolm? Enlighten me, please.

    May 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. reality

    They deserve every penny cuz they do the the stuff we don't hear about just to keep us safe and free

    May 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Come on reality,cut the right-wing bla-bla-bla,will you? You know better than that!!!

      May 6, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Why is this a question?

    I don't know why any funding for those guys would ever be in doubt regardless of their takedown of OBL. They are prime military men and their funding should be solid anyway.

    May 6, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
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