The United States has a long history of covert actions, like the countless times they tried and failed to assassinate Fidel Castro, or the numerous democracies they toppled in order to prop up US-friendly dictators.
However, such clandestine operations used to fulfill just a fraction of America’s overall military endeavors. But now, as Professor Juan Cole details in his latest article, these secret missions have moved from being “a relatively minor arrow in the national security quiver to being the cutting edge of American power.”
“Drone strikes, electronic surveillance and stealth engagements by military units such as the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), as well as dependence on private corporations, mercenary armies and terrorist groups, are now arguably more common as tools of US foreign policy than conventional warfare or diplomacy,” writes Cole, noting how these tools “often make the United States deeply unpopular.”
Cole goes on to highlight how the use of this ‘shadow power’ – of investing billions into third party armies with no chain of command or accountability – ultimately causes ‘blowback’ onto Americans themselves. Like how Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were trained and funded by the CIA before they went rogue.
To read Cole’s in depth analysis and what it means for future security, head over to AfroArticles for the whole piece.