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Obama's visit Tuesday to MacDill Air Force Base, home of U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, was in many ways an endorsement of its mission to combat terrorism.For all Obama's wariness about using conventional military power, he has embraced the role of "covert commander in chief," most notably in the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.Obama's Tampa trip came as the Pentagon and CIA were buzzing about what critics claimed was a power grab by the Joint Special Operations Command, the supersecret group that manages most military counterterrorism strikes.Military officials deny that there's any formal expansion of authority for JSOC or its parent organization, SOCOM. But the clandestine military unit has indeed become Obama's preferred instrument for killing terrorists, filling a role once played mainly by the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. Military sources say that drone strikes have killed between 20,000 and 25,000 Daesh operatives in Iraq and Syria.A senior military official answered that it was JSOC.
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