The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military documents.
The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate.
Articles like this make me sick. What part of “secret” didn’t these blockheads understand? OPSEC, aka Operational Security, means you don’t leak this kind of information to the press! Our men and women in uniform and in the CIA need to be able to operate without people knowing they’re coming, or where to look. That’s why this order was a “secret directive”. Geez.
The document, a copy of which was viewed by The New York Times, provides few details about continuing missions or intelligence-gathering operations.
Several government officials who described the impetus for the order would speak only on condition of anonymity because the document is classified. Spokesmen for the White House and the Pentagon declined to comment for this article. The Times, responding to concerns about troop safety raised by an official at United States Central Command, the military headquarters run by General Petraeus, withheld some details about how troops could be deployed in certain countries.
Do-wha-wha? You mean these fools actually took a classified document to the New York Times? Props to the NYT for not running with the complete details, but still… This document was classified!! There really are no words for this kind of stupidity – the NYT for publishing the information, and the butthats in the administration who took a classified document to the media.