Monday, 4 November 2002

'P2OG' allows Pentagon to fight dirty

"Run away from the light": Such might be the motto of a new, covert policy that the Bush administration is considering implementing. According to recent news reports, it would be the largest expansion into the world of black ops and covert action since the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

And that's saying quite a lot, considering that since Vietnam the Pentagon has not exactly been dormant in this area.

As well-known military analyst William Arkin pointed out in an October 27 column in the Los Angeles Times, the development of the Pentagon's covert counter-terror capability has its roots in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The army created a highly compartmentalized organization that could collect clandestine intelligence independent of the rest of the US intelligence community, and follow through with covert military action. Today, it operates under the code name Grey Fox. In Afghanistan it operated alongside the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) paramilitary Special Activities Division and the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command.

Then there are numerous recent initiatives, such as net assessment capabilities at combatant commands, a new campaign support group at Fort Bragg, a counter-terrorism Technology Support Office, to name just a few.

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