Walter Pincus, who gets into the federal budget better than any reporter I know, reports today on the US Navy's Special Forces budget request. The request funds "wet" and "dry" operations using underwater and shallow water combat submersibles. Also included is $1.3 for a Mobile Landing Platform in 2015, to be followed by the Afloat Forward Staging Base for which no amount is specified. It's a mind-boggling array of technology all needed to, as stated in the budget's forward, "...build and sustain tailored capabilities appropriate for counterterrorism (sic) and irregular warfare.”
It's also part of the Navy staying in the game. The Army and Air Force have a Special Operations Command, which means the Navy will need to do same. No branch of service wants to miss out on the current war. Recall that even the US Coast Guard served in Vietnam. War is a time of opportunity for the military, especially for the military bureaucracy; rank, budget and prestige grow during war time. "Counterterrorism" is the name of the game and the Navy wants to keep its hand in.
Pincus asks the right questions:
How are all these Special Forces capabilities in all the services being integrated? How many overlap? How many are needed, and how many can this country afford?I would add only a follow up to the how many are needed: Why?