Another Undeclared War

Ned Resnikoff

I am a freelance writer, researcher for Media Matters for America, and occasional inactive to Salon. Everything written here is my opinion alone, and not representative of the views of my employer.

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9 Responses

  1. Jason Kuznicki says:

    Repeal the AUMF.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Perhaps we ought to vote for Democrats.Report

  3. Eagle Driver says:

    The philosophical question of: “Is this function of undeclared war a necessary evil of the CIA to protect America and Americans?” requires an ongoing discussion. I think any reasonable American would agree that protecting us from very evil people requires agents to go “under cover” on the world’s stage just as they do domestically in drug busts, mafia busts, etc. However, any reasonable American would agree that we do not want a return to the Nixon days of unchecked illegal activities. Having served in the military and now a civilian, I see both sides and I see the justification but limits are required. What those limits and accountability parameters are is, as with many issues, up for debate.

    Nice article Ned, well written and informing.


  4. It’s not just the CIA that runs these teams. The NSA, DoD, etc all have teams that operate on and off the books. They are the ‘tip of the spear’ for most of our counter-terrorism activity and they do more good than bad. AQ isn’t going to be defeated by the 82nd Airborne. They are going to be defeated by serious men doing serious work that never makes it into the press. Personally I sleep a lot beter knowing those guys are out there.Report

  5. Tony B says:

    @Mike at The Big Stick,
    -You are a boy and live in squalor
    -You rely largely on your extended family’s cooperation to maintain what little livelihood you have
    -Your uncle supports a radical religious group and tells you about the evils of America every day
    -One day an American kicks in your door with a boot that costs more than your house, shoot your uncle and your sister in the face (oops, collateral damage)
    -On the way out of town Americans hold a vote with armed troops at every voting booth
    -Unsurprisingly a leader who cooperates with all American interests and does nothing to improve your life wins
    -You say “Thank you American for your gift of democracy”
    -You drop out of school and trudge off to work to help pay for the loss of your uncle’s income (even though you can’t earn half of what he did)

    So we can all rest assured that no more radical anti-American activity will take place in this town.Report

  6. Katherine says:

    This is the kind of thing that makes me very, very glad that I’m not an Americans, because I don’t have to decide whether or not I would vote today.Report

  7. Scott says:

    Did any of you folks ever think that some of those terrorists need to be killed before they put another bomb on an airplane?Report

    • Tony B in reply to Scott says:


      Sure, that plan is logical enough. The problem is in the execution. When the American government is ordering robot planes to bomb “terrorists” how do you guarantee that only the terrorists die? When a home or source of income is destroyed in the process, who fixes it?

      From the perspective of the collaterally damaged who live in constant fear from unpreventable death from above, or black ops teams, how is this any different from terrorism? Can you really blame people for eventually joining the only resistance to foreign sponsored death squads?Report

      • Scott in reply to Tony B says:

        @Tony B,

        Whether you drop a bomb from a manned plane or a robot you can’t guarantee that there won’t be collateral damage. That shouldn’t stop you from doing it but rather should shape the process of targeting to be as careful as possible.
        The difference is that the US doesn’t specially target innocents or soft targets like the terrorists do.Report