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      07-02-2008, 07:54 AM   #35
Jack in Jax
Second Lieutenant

Drives: Pearson 424 Ketch
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Jacksonville FL

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This discussion uses terms that are widely embraced and widely misunderstood - 'covert ops' being a good example. The assumption made when that term is used here is that operators in the field are under direct control of our country's MCA, and so what they do inside Iran during these ops is aligned with our broader military and political objectives. As mentioned earlier, these ops are in fact being conducted by indigenous & independent splinter groups who's gripes and tribal alliances are as influential in their behavior as the arms and financial support they no doubt receive as payment.

Here's a short excerpt of a current summary on these ops (see Washington Post, Ignatius column this date for more): "The danger of these cross-border activities was explained to me by one intelligence source. He said the Iranians had recently captured several dissident Iranian operatives who had been recruited by U.S. military officers inside Iraq and then sent into Iran. The Iranians, whose intelligence network inside Iraq is pervasive, surveilled the meeting, then followed the agents across the border and seized them.

"The U.S. program appears to focus on political action and the collection of intelligence rather than on lethal operations. Lethal action inside Iran may be conducted independently by some groups. There are reports, for example, that Kurdish guerrillas have retaliated for Iranian shelling of Kurdistan."

A fair conclusion is that we have no connection to some of these ops, only indirect control of others (maybe...) and, judging by this thread, a very mixed understanding of the morality of these circumstances.