Essay about Effectiveness Of A Covert Operation

1392 Words Dec 11th, 2014 6 Pages
Before looking at case studies pertaining to this point, it is first important to understand how to measure the effectiveness of a covert operation. There are two criterion to examine: has the objective been achieved and whether secrecy was maintained. In discussing the former, Roy Godson points out a number of elements that compose an effective covert action capability. This includes its integration with official policy and bureaucratic structure of the state. The most important element however, is in regards to the “integration within the wider intelligence cycle,” as successful actions require “good intelligence, counterintelligence, and analysis.” Good intelligence is relevant on a number of levels. It can help policymakers and leaders assess whether any certain region is in need of covert action, what action would be appropriate, and the success factor. The second criterion to examine is the maintenance of secrecy. The ability to keep an operation secret protects the country from criticism, or even hostile actions from foreign countries. This measure is self-explanatory, in that if a country maintains full secrecy during an operation, they are more likely to be successful in following operations as well. One case is the US involvement in the Congo, and how the CIA ruined the infrastructure and trust of that country. In this particular case, the US outweighed the potential threat over the actual threat, and acted accordingly. In other words, it was overkill.…

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