Tampa Bay hosts Special Operations Forces Industry Conference and the International Special Forces Conference
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05/21/14 Robert Lorei
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Tags: The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, International Special Forces Conference, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base

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William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy


Today on Radioactivity, we discuss two special operations conferences that are being held simultaneously at the Tampa Convention Center this week. The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference and the International Special Forces Conference, which is hosted by U.S. Special Operations Command, whose headquarters is at MacDill Air Force Base.

According to the Tampa Bay Times-- the joint conferences are attracting up to 300 companies that will be hawking their military wares in displays on the convention center's main floor. Also participating will be special operations forces representatives from 84 countries, government officials, academics and SOCom brass.

This comes at the same time that members of the the U.S. House of Representatives began debating a new Pentagon spending plan.

The legislation, which the full House began debating last night, calls for a Pentagon base budget of $500 billion for the 2015 fiscal year beginning in October, about the same as this year. The National Defense Authorization Act also approves $17.6 billion for nuclear weapons spending and $79.4 billion for the Afghanistan war.

But the House Armed Services Committee rejected the Pentagon's long-term plans for cutting costs to meet a congressional mandate to reduce spending by nearly $1 trillion over a decade. The Pentagon had sought reforms that hit military compensation and popular weapons systems.

Rob speaks with Bill Hartung is director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

The public will get to see some special ops forces in land, sea and air exercises in downtown Tampa. The exercises are set for 1:30 p.m. today outside the convention center, 333 S Franklin St.

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