Thursday, October 25, 2007

We need our own proxies 

Stratfor (free sign-up) published a sit-rep this morning that suggests that Iran is continuing to escalate the proxy war:

Iran has commissioned Imad Mughniyye, Hezbollah official for foreign operations, to organize cells of Shiite operatives in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to operate against U.S. and pro-U.S. Arabs in the event of war against Iran, a Stratfor source in Lebanon said Oct. 25. Trainees from the Persian Gulf region reportedly have arrived in Lebanon and are conducting drills in the Bekaa Valley.

Sort of makes you wonder why the West no longer has any capacity to organize "cells of operatives" to fight our end of a proxy war. We used to think it was important to have proxy capabilities, back when we knew that direct war with the Soviet Union was too dangerous to be credible. Now, direct military action is too unpopular with the chattering classes to be credible. Is it not time to relearn how to fight war in the shadows?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Oct 25, 05:11:00 PM:

At the very least, it's time--past time--to eliminate this pestilant Mugniyah.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Thu Oct 25, 05:13:00 PM:

We no longer have the stomach nor capacity to keep secrets to do that kind of thing.

For instance, if a foreign lieutenant working for our guys changes his mind about who he wants to serve, or just gets a better offer elsewhere, what do you do? If he reports your operatives and their activities to our rivals, we're totally screwed. Our guys and their families will probably be consigned to be tortured and executed, [come on, look who our enemies are] and we'll have proven that we can't protect our own. But if you off him, a bleeding heart will run to the press and whine about how evil and ruthless we are; that that probably just saved dozens of other lives isn't considered.

We, as a society, don't have the balls for dirty work.  

By Blogger davod, at Thu Oct 25, 06:28:00 PM:


Your scenario is always on the cards. The front page of the New York Time is one reason we have few proxy efforts.

The finance program and rendition revelations caused enormous embarrassment for our allies. Who the heck would trust the CIA to keep a secret enough to risk their lives in a hot area.  

By Blogger Papa Ray, at Fri Oct 26, 12:05:00 AM:

It's simple. Iranians and others over there are very "superstitious".

Just have special effects people whip up a few thousand Klingon masks and armor and add a few do-dads on the vehicles and give it to independent contractors such as the dreaded "Blackwater".

After they do their thing, call them back and tell the world that the Klingons are going after the rest of the terrorists if they don't behave themselves.

After all, they are as coldblooded as Klingons are..right?

Papa Ray
West Texas

By Blogger Ray, at Fri Oct 26, 07:42:00 AM:

There hasn't been much call on such a capability for the last 20 years or so -- which is more than enough time for people to retire, training curricula to stagnate, procedures to get politically correctified.

That said, historically, when we need such a capability, somebody in our government has been good about putting it together again. It only took 2-3 years to train up the OSS, after all. It's a question of political will -- and secrecy. Anybody competent enough to put such a capability back together again would be smart enough to keep it out of reporters' ears for a good couple of years. I wouldn't bet against the military in this regard -- they have some very motivated, energetic, and slightly crazy people working for them :)  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Oct 26, 08:08:00 AM:

As far as direct action by American personnel goes, yeah, we've got the bases covered. And you're right, the military leads the way on this and some of the stuff it can do is amazing. Ever since the CIA was neutered in the 70's, it's had to.

But the OP was about using foreign proxies, which is not the military's domain. (unfortunately)  

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