Comments on: Post Iraq, U.S. must rely on covert action Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: K-Wulf Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:11:44 +0000 I think it is true that in the absence of traditional military war fighting, covert action becomes an even more significant component of US foreign policy. But it is and should be a crucial foreign policy tool at all times, regardless of our war posture. And I would hope that it has been properly utilized during the Obama administration, because political scientists and intelligence analysts have been raising the alarm about Putin’s Russia for years now.

In general, I have always believed that covert operations tend to be more politically acceptable and cheaper than full military mobilization. And there are certain jobs that need doing that just can’t be done without secrecy. We should always be working to chart and track and disable the members and activities of terror networks and criminal organizations. We should always be working to challenge the power and resources of governments that wish to gain an advantage over us. And we should always support and promote opposition to bad actors abroad. Failure to do any of these things would be a grave mistake.

Although the Cold War ended, it only ended in the sense that the bi-polar, US-Soviet framework ended. But all of the other aspects of the Cold War still exist today. The difference is that now the framework is more complex. We are still faced with all of the same threats, but in different forms and greater numbers. As just one example, today’s Russia, despite its economy, is a much more acute threat and source of threats than when Gorbachev presided over the final years of the Soviet Union.

By: BidnisMan Thu, 19 Jun 2014 07:46:44 +0000 This article reads like a scene from the movie Team America: World Police.

By: nvgg Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:35:59 +0000 just another pro CIA gangster

By: Benny27 Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:29:35 +0000 So Reuters allows advertisements in their opinion section now? More evidence of the decline of journalism. This warmonger should not have a public platform, his “solutions” have cost us much in the past decades.

“successful effort to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan in 1986-87″

Is that ever looking at the bright side! This moron wants us to forget that that “success” also happened to spawn Bin Laden and company. Covert actions have consequences. Arming and training radical foreign armies is a policy that should be rethought.Especially since “covert” refers only to the American public: the victims know what is going on, since you cannot keep it from, them! And this in a time of trying to prevent terrorists from forming? Laughable.

“For me, this all feels like déjà vu — because I worked as a CIA chief of station in five major Cold War locations, and served as deputy director for worldwide operations during the heyday of the struggle between the Soviet Union and the West.”

Classic case of if your only tool is a hammer, every job looks like a nail. In this case, the hammer is paranoia and rigid ideology that is resistant to facts.

By: kencarver Tue, 17 Jun 2014 21:35:26 +0000 The result of sanctions will be increased worldwide oil prices which will totally offset any loss due to sanctions. Russia makes more on oil than natural gas. Russia will increase the price of natural gas for the next five years until the west can supply Europe. No cooperation in any worldwide efforts to settle disputes throughout the world and the loss of access to the ISS. All of this for what; a failed nation that will cost the west trillions of dollars to revive while the rest of the world rots away and the BRICS nations establish a new world order and currency. Just wait and see.

By: expat75 Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:53:16 +0000 Ever since the CIA was set up in 1952, replacing the former organisation OAS, American foreign policy has been enacted in a covert way through this agency. Its first adventure, authorized by President Eisenhower, was to overthrow the democratically- elected president of Iran in 1953 by “renting a crowd”, and restoring the Shah to the throne and his secret police, which outdid anything that Stalin’s could do!

American foreign policy– if policy is the correct word since it implies deliberate thought, since that time has been to shun diplomacy and resort instead to war or covert means. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that America gets itself into situations from which it is difficult to extract itself with honor.

By: AlkalineState Mon, 16 Jun 2014 04:44:16 +0000 “I ran the CIA’s Afghanistan Task Force during the successful effort to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan in 1986-87″

Epic fail. What you really did was create, fund and train…. Al Qaeda terrorists.

Far better to have let the Russians have Afghanistan. They’re going to end up with it anyway.

By: Crusader325 Sun, 15 Jun 2014 18:49:53 +0000 Lots of “professional” opinions and most make excellent points but does little to assist a “regular guy” in forming an opinion of his own. I suppose it all comes down to what we “want” to believe rather than absolute truth.

By: wirk Sun, 15 Jun 2014 17:48:13 +0000 It looks like the author, being a seasoned CIA operative, uses this outlet for yet another covert operation. He says: “This round began with Putin’s assaults on Georgia, Armenia, Crimea and now possibly part or all of Ukraine”. Which is plain lie to cover the covert intentions and actions by the US, executed in no small way by the CIA.

Strategic longterm objective of the US is breakup of Russian as a multi-ethnic and regional federation. Visionaries of this strategy see its end goal as future Russia being a mid-size european country and the mosaic of independent republics instead of the federation. One look at a map is enough to notice that the are two critical areas for projecting of this goal: Georgia and Ukraine.

Georgia provides access to the Caucasus where ethnic ferment can easily be ignited. Ukraine projects into the southern underbelly of Russia. This is why US is relentlessly building-up ‘assets’ in these countries. Victoria Nuland provided the number, 5 billion dollars which the US spent (only officially) over 20 years in the Ukraine for “promoting democracy”. Knowing the state of the democracy in Ukraine it it easy to see that the promotion was oriented towards establishing wide network of agents of impact in the centers of power. That has been very successful to the point that Nuland was able to tell who should be leading the government in Kiev after the coup. Similar process was going on earlier in Georgia where young US-educated Saakashvili was elected as president.

These developments were obviously a colossal strategic danger for Russia. The danger was/is even greater as the US agents of impact in power turned out to be extremal fanatics brutally fighting with those who were not agreeing with their line. Thus, Saakashvili started blitzkrieg war in South Ossetia to ‘clean’ the territory of Georgia from dissent. Thus, the rulers in Kiev were not willing to talk with people in the Eastern Ukraine but are treating them as ‘terrorists’.

Russia had no other choice than preempting the covert US strategy. Russia had to intervene in Georgia to prevent genocide and build-up strategic position there. Russia had to regain Crimea to block strategic cut-off from Black Sea. Now Russia has to support the east of Ukraine which is evolving into another genocide with bombardments of cities and to protect its southern underbelly.

Putin thus reacted defensively to the covert long-term aggressive strategy of the US. Putin’s actions were brilliant but actually not much complicated due to the overhwelming support of local populations in Crimea, Ossetia and eastern Ukraine. But they clearly made the US angry. Especially Ukraine is so important to keep the longterm strategy alive that every effort will be made to keep it. Read: civilian population in the Ukraine east must subject to the rule or it will be driven out.

The author of this piece proposes another tool: covert operations by the CIA. One can be absolutely certain that Russia will not be passive then.

In the end, this will fail as much as the US strategies which arrogantly place global objectives over the will of people eventually failed in Vietnam, Afganistan and Iraq. Millions of victims in these conflicts count as ‘collateral damage’

By: dd606 Sun, 15 Jun 2014 17:31:20 +0000 Posted by upstater: Why does Reuters invite warmongers to supply this type of screed? In looking at the consequences of this so-called “success”, I think many reasonable people might conclude that it would have been better for the world as a whole had the Soviets won in Afghanistan and there was a secular government in place for the past 30 years.


Actually, ‘reasonable people’ aren’t delusional enough to think that the US are the bad guys. Afghanistan would be better under the Soviets? Yeah, because all the other countries they took over worked out so well. You obviously know nothing about the CIA. The CIA could have killed Osama numerous times, but was told not to by the Clinton administration, because they didn’t want to deal with the fallout. The CIA and Delta had him and his men pinned in Tora Bora, but the Bush administration made the mistake of trying to get indigenous forces to catch him… but they let him go instead. The CIA was highly opposed to this, but there was nothing they could do.

If you want to blame somebody for lack of success, look to your politicians.