Covert Action Lead -- Central Intelligence Agency or Special Forces   [open pdf - 221KB]

"Since the end of the 'Cold War' in 1989, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has had a reduction in its ability to perform its tenet missions: Foreign Intelligence Collection, Covert Action, and Counter Intelligence. This is primarily due to two reasons: insufficient resources (budget and manpower) to meet its current requirements and a shift in focus from Human Intelligence (HUMINT) to other forms of intelligence gathering. With the events of 11 September 2001, terrorism has seemingly surfaced as a top threat to the global community--especially the United States (U.S.). An effective method of infiltrating a terrorist network and neutralizing its capability is through HUMINT via Covert Action. Historically, the CIA has called upon the Department of Defense (DoD) to help with and augment Covert Action in the form of detailing. DoD, compared to the CIA, is resourced significantly greater in terms of budget and manpower. With respect to its training, skill sets and maturity, United States Army Special Forces are the most capable component of DoD to execute detailing for Covert Action. As the fear of terrorism continues to hold its place as an elevated threat to the U.S., combined with the decline in the CIA's ability to perform Covert Action, is it now time for Special Forces to assume the lead role in Covert Action?"

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Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
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