Peeling the Onion Back on the Pentagon’s Special Operations Budget

The U.S. special operations budget has been seen as one of the most stable parts of the Defense Department’s $560 billion budget in recent years.

That’s because the Obama administration has placed a premium on the use of these elite units for complicated missions in places like Yemen and Somalia. And don’t forget these were the types of units that flew deep into Pakistan on the mission that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011. Now, more than 12 teams from Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, are advising and assisting Iraqis who are battling Islamic State militants.

While military spending has come down following large-scale ground wars in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade, SOCOM’s budget has remained relatively flat.

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