In March, members of the U.S. Special Operations forces traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina to train with local special police units. Carried out at Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national training center in Manjaca, the arrest demonstration, chronicled in an official video, was part of the first-of-its-kind Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) in the Balkan nation.
The training program was part of a shadowy and growing global engagement strategy involving America’s most secretive and least scrutinized troops. Since 9/11, Special Ops forces have expanded in almost every conceivable way — from budget to personnel to overseas missions — with JCETs playing a significant role. Special Operations Command keeps the size and scope of the program a well-guarded secret, refusing to release even basic figures about the number of missions or the countries involved, but documents obtained by The Intercept demonstrate that from 2012 to 2014 some of America’s most elite troops — including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets — carried out 500 Joint Combined Exchange Training missions around the world.