Oh Great! Now the CIA is at War With the Regular Army!

PJ Media: 

Fighting Intensifies Between CIA-Backed Militias and Pentagon-Backed Syrian Rebels

Clashes between militias trained by the CIA and the Pentagon are intensifying as bitter fighting has broken out near Aleppo and the Turkish border.

Chicago Tribune:

The fighting has intensified over the past two months, as CIA-armed units and Dry Bones,cartoon, Israel, Syria, war,  Terrorism, violence, Arabs,Sunni, Shia, Alawite,Iran, al Qaeda,  Hezbollah, Syria, war, golan, peace, hezbollah, civil war, turkey, europe, Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other as they have maneuvered through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.  

Rick Moran comments:

If anything demonstrates the incompetence, futility, and danger of the president’s policiy in Syria, it’s this almost comic clash between fighters trained by two separate wings of our national security apparatus.

Cartoon Source.

Because NOTHING says competent foreign policy like two parts of your government training troops which end up shooting at each other.

I’m sure there are  CIA officers and military advisers who are embedded with groups facing off against each other.  This is madness.  Where the hell are the smart people we were promised?

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8 Responses to Oh Great! Now the CIA is at War With the Regular Army!

  1. Neal N. Bob says:

    That goes to a much larger problem that predates Obama.

    In the wake of 9/11, the CIA effectively stopped being an intelligence agency and morphed into a paramilitary, almost overnight. A lot of that was a result of Donald Rumsfeld’s rivalries with everyone else on the planet and Dick Cheney’s obsession with the Unitary Executive Theory.

    We saw how well it worked in Afghanistan. It turns out that a paramilitary can overthrow a government, but it can’t occupy and secure territory. But the CIA is, by design, less accountable to Congress than the military is, so Obama kept it in place when he assumed office, most notably with the bin Laden raid, which was an Agency operation that temporarily conscripted Special Forces. Oh, and when you effectively have two armies (a traditional one and a covert one,) it naturally follows that you’re going to have bureaucratic rivalries cross-purposed operations almost immediately.

    Finally, this goes to the nature of the Syrian civil war itself. Pretty much everyone in that conflict is psychotic and more married to their individual agendas than they are to the whims of the United States, which has no experience in covertly running this kind of war. The only real parallel is the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, but that was run by Pakistan’s ISI with American money.

    Iran/Contra was a pretty good indication of what happens when presidents let the CIA run wars without significant oversight, but the United States government is almost singularly bad at history.


    • When I think of the Obama foreign policy, Vietnam, the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and Iran/Contra all come to mind. To paraphrase the Apollo 13 situation: What still works? Is there anything which we are doing which serves American interests well? Anything?


      • Neal N. Bob says:

        Again, I don’t think this has as much to do with individual presidents as it does the Executive Branch itself in the 40 years since Watergate. Presidents also learned the wrong lessons from there not being serious consequences from Iran-Contra, so the centralization of power and policy in the National Security Council and the CIA continued unabated, especially after 9/11. .

        I also believe that American foreign policy never found a focus after the end of the Cold War, which has led to endless problems, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. I’d point out that when everything is a “vital national interest,” nothing is. Unfortunately, the end of the Cold War also marked the beginning of hyper-partisanship, which made a fundamental re-evaluation of US foreign policy impossible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Neal N. Bob says:

        To be fair to Obama on ISIS, the GOP certainly isn’t helping matters. On one hand, the keep pushing for him to do more and more. On the other, they explicitly refuse to pass any kind of authorization at all.

        Even in Libya, many of the same people who said that the Commander-in-Chief power explicitly allowed Bush 43 to do whatever he wanted suddenly found a new love for the War Powers Act, which they universally spent 40 years screaming about how it was unconstitutional.


  2. Gus Bailey says:

    Actually, there is nothing new under the sun. CIA has been paramilitary from before it was born; as the gilded daughter of the OSS it was forever going to have a military aspect to it. The only purely intelligence gathering body in the Federal government is the NSA; and that’s pretty damned sketchy since they have access to the most powerful rockets in the western hemisphere and the darkest cloak of any legit agency.


    • Neal N. Bob says:

      Yes, but prior to 9/11, CIA was primarily an intelligence agency. Now it’s primarily a paramilitary, i suspect because human intelligence is impractical with jihadi groups.

      Prior to Afghanistan, i can’t think of a single military conflict where Langley was the primary boots on the ground. Covert actions, yes. Military conflicts, no.


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