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article imageOp-Ed: U.S. Special Operations Forces to grow even with budget cuts

By Ken Hanly     Dec 10, 2012 in World
Washington - Speaking at Duke University on November 29, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said that even as military spending is cut that Special Operations Forces spending will grow.
Carter said that President Obama:"..made sure that we didn't eat our seed corn in a budget reduction. And so that meant continuing to invest, and, in fact, we are growing the special operations forces, actually growing them."
Many special operations forces are headquartered at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The forces have many different functions from secret raids, such as the one that killed bin-Laden, to trying to influence opinions through propaganda outlets.
Carter said that the U.S. would increase its emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region, but also continue work in the Middle East to counter terrorist threats in Africa. He said priority would be given to making alliances and partnerships. Joint military exercises would be held around the world.
As most involvement in Iraq ends and the majority of troops withdraw from Afghanistan, the U.S. is looking for a new strategy. The military is also facing budget cuts. Both Carter and his boss, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, have been warning politicians of the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff, and triggering large across-the-board cuts to military spending.
Carter said:"It's not just the amount of dollars, it's the idiotic way that we are required to take those cuts. And, of course, it's idiotic because the intent of sequester was to use the threat of cuts implemented inflexibly, and really mindlessly, to force Congress to enact a compromise deficit reduction plan. That was its intent. It was never intended to be implemented."
Carter noted that funding was being increased for cyber operations, electronic warfare, and electronic protection. He said that the U.S. was also focusing on space to develop the capabilities to counter weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. is also developing new security partners, such as with the Philippines and India. The Navy, he said, will change focus from the Atlantic to the Pacific. As part of the new emphasis the Army too will send 70,000 troops to the Asia-Pacific region.
As part of the new planning the Defense Intelligence Agency will be vastly expanded. The DIA was founded in 1961 and has grown larger and larger over time. The Pentagon is seeking a massive increase in the size of the DIA. The head of the DIA, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, said that this move was a major adjustment for national security. Over the longer term indications are that the goal is to make the DIA as large in size and scope as the CIA.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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