During NBC’s coverage last night of President Barack Obama’s announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs, anchor Brian Williams advised the audience they would soon be hearing the name JSOC a lot in the coming days.
Short for Joint Special Operations Command, JSOC, is an “unusual collection of classified standing task forces and special-missions units,” according to a report in National Journal. Reporting directly to the president (who in this case authorized the bin Laden raid Friday morning), the teams operate under classified directives and in near-complete secrecy.
Since the president’s late-night address, much of the media attention has focused has been focused not so much on the “whodunnit” of the operation, but the “how.”
National Journal’s exhaustive report of the bin Laden operation — undertaken by a group of Navy SEALs working under a specific branch of JSOC — details the painstaking detail the command took, even replicating the one-acre Pakistani compound, where bin Laden was cornered, on an air base in Afghanistan for practice runs.
Marc Ambinder, the author of the report, explained that intelligence officials see in the successful bin Laden raid, the culmination of years of work to fully integrate intelligence and military operations and confirming, Ambinder wrote, “that the CIA and JSOC work well together.”
Similary, Howie Chandler, former Air Force vice chief of staff told Federal News Radio, marked the beginning “era of cooperation between the services,” and said the triumph could stave off budget cuts.