Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rumsfeld's Secret Army: Creating A Military Black Ops Force

Warning up front, this is an old article, but still more relevant than ever. I've made no bones about my affinity for everything intelligence-related, so when I saw this article, I knew it was a natural fit for this site. This may explain some of what we're seeing out of Washington these days...it seems Rumsfeld has seized the apparatus of not only intelligence gathering but covert ops in general. I suppose this isn't surprising, as this Administration has been openly hostile to any agency that isn't a 100% loyal lapdog, and if there's anything more loyal than Rumsfeld's DoD, well, I haven't seen it.

This whole idea seems to have been borne from the super-secret army intelligence unit ISA, which later developed into grey fox (both of which are excellent reads, btw).

What bothers me about the whole thing is that it continues the Administration's focus on "pre-emption", which to me just means naked aggression, only this time a naked aggression that is beholden to no one but the administration; they are not even held by the checks and balances of American law. The idea of such a tool in their hands is chilling. Read up on the "Proactive Preemptive Operations Group"...

The Secret War
Frustrated by intelligence failures, the Defense Department is dramatically expanding its 'black world' of covert operations
by William Arkin

SOUTH POMFRET, Vt. -- In what may well be the largest expansion of covert action by the armed forces since the Vietnam era, the Bush administration has turned to what the Pentagon calls the "black world" to press the war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

The Defense Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised. Spy planes and ships are being assigned new missions in anti-terror and monitoring the "axis of evil."

The increasingly dominant role of the military, Pentagon officials say, reflects frustration at the highest levels of government with the performance of the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies and much of the burgeoning homeland security apparatus. It also reflects the desire of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to gain greater overall control of the war on terror.

Insulated from outside pressures, armed with matchless weapons and technology, trained to operate below the shadow line, the Pentagon's black world of classified operations holds out the hope of swift, decisive action in a struggle against terrorism that often looks more like a family feud than a war.

Coupled with the enormous effort being made throughout the government to improve and link information networks and databases, covert anti-terror operations promise to put better information in the hands of streamlined military teams that can identify, monitor and neutralize terrorist threats.

"Prevention and preemption are ... the only defense against terrorism," Rumsfeld said in May. "Our task is to find and destroy the enemy before they strike us."

The new apparatus for covert operations and the growing government secrecy associated with the war on terrorism reflect the way the Bush administration's most senior officials see today's world:

First, they see fighting terrorism and its challenge to U.S. interests and values as the 21st century equivalent of the Cold War crusade against communism. Second, they believe the magnitude of the threat requires, and thus justifies, aggressive new "off-the-books" tactics.

In their understandable frustration over continued atrocities such as the recent Bali attack, however, U.S. officials might keep two points in mind.

Though covert action can bring quick results, because it is isolated from the normal review processes it can just as quickly bring mistakes and larger problems. Also, the Pentagon is every bit as capable as the civilian side of the government when it comes to creating organization charts and bureaucracy that stifle creative thinking and timely action.

Posted by crimnos @ 9:18 AM

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Syria is next and I am sure that there are already black ops in there already.

I wonder if Bush will try to take us into Syria to try and jump start his base and the country yet again through cloaking himself in the flag.

Posted by Blogger james @ 1:25 PM #
 

Yes, this story immediately made me think of Syria.

Posted by Blogger crimnos @ 2:01 PM #
 
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