Obama Gives Commanders Wide Berth for Secret Warfare


Marc Ambinder
The Atlantic
May 26, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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Last summer, the White House authorized a massive expansion of clandestine military and intelligence operations worldwide, sanctioning activities in more than a dozen countries and giving the military’s combatant commanders significant new authority to conduct unconventional warfare.

The New York Times reported on one major operational plan, which authorizes intelligence gathering and reconnaissance activities in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia. A Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order, was signed on September 30, 2009, by CENTCOM commander in chief David Petraeus. It was marked “LIMDIS” — as in “limited distribution,” and hard copies were delivered to about 30 people.

The Times did not report its original classified codename, “Avocado.” The name has since been changed.

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