– Très gravement amputée, qui peut laisser croire que le régime étasunien s’apprête à se calmer,
“The real question is whether we can roll back the ‘go anywhere, fight any battle’ mentality of the Pentagon,” Hartung [said] in an email exchange. “Whether it’s drones, Special Forces, or precision bombs, war is war, and it’s time to take the United States off of a perpetual war footing and craft a truly defensive military force.”
Indeed, in his remarks, Hagel stressed that Washington’s SOF will continue to grow – from roughly 66,000 today to just shy of 70,000 in 2015 – an increase of almost 300 percent compared to just a decade ago.
Each of the military services and each of the regional commands (SouthCom for Latin America, Africom for Africa, CentCom for the Near East and parts of South and Central Asia, and PaCom for the Asia-Pacific) – have their own elite SOF units.
In addition, a North Carolina-based Special Operations Command (SOCOM), presided over by Adm. William McRaven, who oversaw the bin Laden raid, can dispatch troops to virtually anywhere in the world. He also commands the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which works closely with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in carrying out highly classified operations against specific targets.
McRaven, whose efforts at easing human-rights restrictions on training foreign militaries and circumventing State Department oversight of some aid programmes have proved controversial, has nonetheless been effective in building his “empire” in major part because of its compatibility with Obama’s desire to lighten the U.S. military’s “footprint” in conflicted regions without reducing its effectiveness and lethality.
“In his State of the Union address, the President declared that our nation must move off a permanent war footing, and Secretary Hagel’s speech today took one major step in that direction.” noted Miriam Pemberton, another defence analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies here. “But, while long-term occupations are off the table now, the expansion of Special Forces means that under-the-radar invasion are not .”
Ironically, Hagel’s budget proposal reflects in many ways the strategic vision of former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld , who strongly favoured the development of high-tech combat systems, heavy reliance on air power, and small, nimble ground forces who could strike from so-called “lily pads” (or temporary bases) anywhere on the globe within a short period of time. His so-called “Revolution in Military Affairs,” or RMA, however, was side-tracked enormous costs of the Iraq occupation.
The Obama administration has revived that vision, without explicitly admitting it, with the priority it has accorded to cyber-warfare capabilities, SOF, ever-more sophisticated drone technology, its intended retention of all 13 aircraft carriers, and its ongoing efforts to negotiate access agreements to foreign military facilities, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, East African, and Sahelian regions