In order to be able to claim “no more troops on the ground” in Afghanistan by 2014, the Pentagon envisaging transferring its special operations forces to the CIA, thus “making them spies” and “reducing the number of troops”. This was reported in an AP article quoting two unnamed Pentagon officials.
The troops, such as the SEALs and other units, would only change titles since they “still would target militants on joint raids with Afghans and keep training Afghan forces to do the job on their own”, according to AP. (Kimberly Dozier, Pentagon may put special ops in Afghanistan under CIA control to meet 2014 pullout deadline, March 3, 2012)
The Pentagon spokesman has denied such plans were under way. Some commanders, AP notes, “want their units to remain autonomous in order to keep their troops under Defense Department legal parameters”.
This defense scheme could be linked to a recent article from Stars and Stripes, a U.S. Defense Department media outlet, stating the Pentagon is preparing to “unleash special operations troops worldwide as traditional military operations are cut back.”
Technically, if the same amount of troops is performing the same tasks, but under CIA control, the Pentagon could claim it reduced traditional military operations.
AP further notes:
A CIA-run war would mean that the U.S. public would not be informed about funding or operations, as they are in a traditional war. Oversight would fall to the White House, top intelligence officials, and a few congressional committees. (Ibid.)
This lack of public oversight on the funding would help conceal the exact amount allocated to wars.
In a nutshell, if this plan was implemented, the American public would ignore how many troops are deployed and how much money is being spent on wars.
Julie Lévesque contributed to this report.