What conflicts exist where an intelligence agency is the same that uses secret information to carry-out executive decisions to engage in covert action?

Any discussion of covert action tends to evoke conversations regarding ethics, long-term effects, risk analysis, the value and benefits, and the inevitable justification for some policy option that exists somewhere between gentleman’s diplomacy and killing each other to get what we want. The nature of covert action also presents some unique conflicts of interest.

Those who recommend and carry out covert action also are responsible for painting the justification for the covert action–and there is very little oversight. It has been, rightly or wrongly, characterized as giving the prisoners keys to the prison.

Before you answer this weeks Forum question, be sure you have read all three documents. The Erwin reading will give you a good understanding of the legislative background of Covert Action. The Scott document will help you comprehend clandestine diplomacy and Covert Action. While the Snyder essay will give you a good historical overview of the relationship between the CIA and Congress from its genesis down to the present.

This forum is designed to allow you to engage your fellow students, reflect on your own thoughts, read the disparate views of others, assess the validity of differing points of view, and understanding the nature of covert action as an element of strategic intelligence. You want to learn from each other, learn about each other, share your views, provide detailed and cogent arguments.

The more you engage the more you learn and the more fun you have in the process. Answer the following: What is the role of covert action as a tool of strategic decision-making?

What conflicts exist where an intelligence agency is the same that uses secret information to carry-out executive decisions to engage in covert action?

Does covert action support the practice of state-craft or is it a tool used to carry out actions to further security, military, economic, and business interests?


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