26 May 2010

CIA Losing Intel Turf Wars with DoD

Y'know, if there weren't so many issues with responsiveness with the agency, maybe the military wouldn't be doing so much of their own deep intel work.

Did the CIA just lose another battle in its ongoing bureaucratic war with the Defense Department over control of America's covert operations overseas?

According to the New York Times' Mark Mazzetti, Gen. David Petraeus has signed a lengthy directive authorizing U.S. special forces to conduct covert operations and gather intelligence in "friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa." That's pretty much been the job description in the same region for the CIA's cloak-and-dagger crew.

The Times says the directive is aimed at building the Pentagon's long-term capability to disrupt terrorist networks throughout the Middle East and "break its dependence on the CIA" for the intelligence that such efforts require. And the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder says it's just one part of a broader push to beef up the role of covert special-forces units worldwide.

The Times reports that the CIA didn't object to the idea. But in incremental terms, this marks another sign that the uniformed military is propelling more of the initiatives within the country's foreign-policy nexus to wrest information from "the dark side," as Dick Cheney famously dubbed the world of covert intelligence work.

The overall trend began when former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld built his own private spy agency, called the Strategic Support Branch, within the Pentagon in order to freeze out the CIA's input.

By: Brant

No comments: