CRF Blog

The President and Navy SEALS

by Bill Hayes

In Navy SEALs: Obama’s Secret Army, Newsweek’s cover story looks at how the president has come to rely on special military operations.

Obama has come to rely more and more on “special operators” for many types of missions. In an era of dwindling budgets and dispersed, hidden enemies, when Americans have become fatigued by disastrous military occupations, the value of pinprick operations by elite forces is clear. The budget for the Special Operations Command has more than doubled since 2001, reaching $10.5 billion, and the number of deployments has more than quadrupled. Now the head of that command, Adm. William H. McRaven, is calling for more resources and more autonomy. The New York Times reported on Feb. 12 that McRaven is “pushing for a larger role for his elite units who have traditionally operated in the dark corners of American foreign policy.” He wants to expand Special Operations Forces in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and have the authority to move forces and equipment as needed, assuring greater flexibility and speed. [more]