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Sunday, 6 June 2010

School of the Americas, it’s not just for breakfast anymore

Obama promised in his campaign to escalate the war in Afghanistan. It is a promise he’s kept and in more ways than one might expect. I’m’a quote the hell out of this thing–

U.S. “secret war” expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role

By Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe, Washington Post

…the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials.

Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 [during the G.W. Bush era]…

One advantage of using “secret” forces for such missions is that they rarely discuss their operations in public.…

Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed “things that the previous administration did not.”

…Special Operations commanders have also become a far more regular presence at the White House than they were under George W. Bush’s administration…

“We have a lot more access,” a second military official said. “They are talking publicly much less but they are acting more. They are willing to get aggressive much more quickly.”

…Obama has made such forces a far more integrated part of his global security strategy. He has asked for a 5.7 percent increase in the Special Operations budget for fiscal 2011…

Bush-era clashes between the Defense and State departments over Special Operations deployments have all but ceased…

…Operations have also been hindered in Pakistan — where Special Operations trainers hope to nearly triple their current deployment to 300…

Although pleased with their expanded numbers and funding, Special Operations commanders would like to devote more of their force to global missions outside war zones. Of about 13,000 Special Operations forces deployed overseas…

The Obama administration has rejected the constitutional executive authority claimed by Bush and has based its lethal operations on the authority Congress gave the president in 2001 to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons” he determines “planned, authorized, committed, or aided” the Sept. 11 attacks.

Many of those currently being targeted, Bellinger said, "particularly in places outside Afghanistan," had nothing to do with the 2001 attacks.

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