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On Tuesday an American and Dane were rescued by a successful raid in Somalia by members of Joint Special Operations Command. This can be chalked up as another win for SOCOM and specifically the Seals and Delta (1st Special Operations Detachment Delta). These take downs are always short lived for the US Military before the media moves on but for a brief window we can appreciate that the members of the elite side of the Armed Forces can reach out anywhere in the globe and severely touch some bad dudes…
In the spirit or global reach, the US Military for the next year will conduct operations on exactly the same budget. Secretary Panetta took over the Department of Defense and was immediately charged by the President with cutting Defense spending over the next 10 years. The leading Democrat on the Senate Representative Adam Smith announced yesterday that the budget would hold steady at last years $513 billion mark.
What will be most interesting is how the distribution of funding will be when it is released in the next few weeks. Many major programs are facing the chopping block and the first to feel it was the cancellation this week of the expensive Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk program. With an individual price tag of $214 million, the retiring of the fleet leaves open questions to unmanned global surveillance and a possible return to the aging manned U2 fleet which provided ISR capabilities for 50 years. The ripple effects may be felt in the Navy’s variant of the Global Hawk and possibly have small effects in Defense giant Northrup Grumman the sole producer of the Hawks.