February 2, 2013

The Myths of America's Shadow War

Loch Johnson, The Atlantic

AP Photo

The United States faces a world of constantly shifting circumstances, as underscored by the Arab Spring uprisings. To shield the nation in a global setting where uncertainty and hostilities are commonplace, officials in Washington have crafted a range of responses to international events that includes diplomacy and the use of armed force. The most hidden and least understood of these responses is covert action -- a tightly held operational secret in the U.S. government. This secrecy has yielded several myths that have misled the American people about a controversial, and sometimes lethal, approach to foreign policy.

MYTH #1: The meaning of covert action is clearly delineated.

With the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991, the government did craft a...

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TAGGED: War on Terror, United States

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