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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:01 PM

The Petraeus Legacy: A Paramilitary CIA?

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by muriel_volestrangler (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: The Nation

While much of the media focus on l’affaire Petraeus has centered on the CIA director’s sexual relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, the scandal opens a window onto a different and more consequential relationship—that between the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command. In a behind-the-scenes turf war that has raged since 9/11, the two government bodies have fought for control of the expanding global wars waged by the United States—a turf war that JSOC has largely won. Petraeus, an instrumental player in this power struggle, leaves behind an agency that has strayed from intelligence to paramilitary-type activities. Though his legacy will be defined largely by the scandal that ended his career, to many within military and intelligence circles, Petraeus’s career trajectory, from commander of US military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to the helm of the CIA, is a symbol of this evolution.

“I would not say that CIA has been taken over by the military, but I would say that the CIA has become more militarized,” Philip Giraldi, a retired career CIA case officer, told The Nation. “A considerable part of the CIA budget is now no longer spying; it’s supporting paramilitaries who work closely with JSOC to kill terrorists, and to run the drone program.” The CIA, he added, “is a killing machine now.”

As head of US Central Command in 2009, Petraeus issued execute orders that significantly broadened the ability of US forces to operate in a variety of countries, including Yemen, where US forces began conducting missile strikes later that year. During Petraeus’s short tenure at the CIA, drone strikes conducted by the agency, sometimes in conjunction with JSOC, escalated dramatically in Yemen; in his first month in office, he oversaw a series of strikes that killed three US citizens, including 16-year-old Abdulrahman Awlaki. In some cases, such as the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, commandos from the elite JSOC operated under the auspices of the CIA, so that the mission could be kept secret if it went wrong.

One current State Department liaison who has also worked extensively with JSOC describes the CIA as becoming “a mini-Special Operations Command that purports to be an intelligence agency.” For all the praise Petraeus won for his counterinsurgency strategy and the “surge” in Iraq, he says, his real legacy is as a “political tool,” an enabler of those within the national security apparatus who want to see a continuation of covert global mini-wars. Pointing to the “mystique that surrounds JSOC” and Adm. William McRaven, commander of the Special Operations Command, the liaison says, “Petraeus was trying to implement that kind of command climate at the CIA.”

Read more: http://www.thenation.com/article/171247/petraeus-legacy-paramilitary-cia#

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Reply The Petraeus Legacy: A Paramilitary CIA? (Original post)
octoberlib Nov 2012 OP
villager Nov 2012 #1
Peace Patriot Nov 2012 #3
villager Nov 2012 #4
BouzoukiKing Nov 2012 #2
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #5

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:16 PM

1. What's next? CIA-backed snipers along parade routes in Dallas!?

Oh wait....

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Response to villager (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:26 AM

3. Recommended: James Douglass' "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters."

It still matters.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:37 AM

4. I keep hearing good things about that book....

Thanks for the reminder.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:11 AM

2. There may be some validity to Petraeus' militarization...

...of CIA. Consider also that before taking over the reins, he may not have supported the idea.

The truth is that raw intelligence-gathering - as the world has become more and more technologized - is almost exclusively the province of NSA these days, and their purely electronic/computer/satellite techniques.

CIA was originally a covert military organization - arising from the OSS of WWII. Having lost some major battles in the political infighting of Washington, they appear to be returning to their roots.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? Do countries need organizations like that? I believe so.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 05:39 AM

5. Locking - not Latest Breaking News

This is an analysis article on what Petraeus did in the CIA and military, not new facts. It would go better in Good Reads or GD. Thank you.

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