New Strategery

I think this little news article could be revealing something with big implications:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military will take an expanded role in the US global "war on terror" under new plans which have reportedly been approved by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The plans call for a significantly expanded role for Special Operations troops in operations to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the Washington Post report said quoting unnamed officials.
Note well: "Outside" of the current warzones!

The plan, developed over three years by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, Florida, increases military involvement in areas traditionally handled by the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department, the report said.
That is significant. We have seen over these years how both State and the CIA have attempted to undercut the Administration at nearly every turn.

See here for example about the widening revelations concerning fired CIA leaker Mary McCarthy. Be sure to see all the updates at that link! If the Republicans are the "Culture of Corruption", the Democrats are the Culture of Treason...

I've seen many fools, even tv pundits who should know better, asking indignantly, why the "seeming double standard" about it being "ok" for the White House (via Scooter Libby, apparently) to "leak" information, but not for hard-working underlings "speaking Truth to Power" at the CIA or Pentagon or State Department? In other words, isn't the outrage over those latter leaks hypocritical and just outrage over political damage rather than over the moral substance?

To which the answer is a resounding NO, because when the President releases information (which makes it weird to call it a "leak"), it is by definition an authorized declassification, by Constitutional authority.

And by Excecutive Order, it's also authorized when the Vice President does it.

But, duh, when anyone else takes it upon themselves to expose classified information to the press, it's an unauthorized leak, they are commiting a crime, and should be punished.

Why is that so hard to understand? Here's a Congresswoman, for heaven's sake!
The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee complained on Sunday that the fired CIA employee who leaked classified information to the Washington Post about top secret interrogations of al Qaeda suspects was being held to a higher standard than President Bush.

Asked if she saw similarities between Bush’s decision to share declassified intelligence on Iraq with the media - and CIA leaker Mary McCarthy, Rep. Jane Harman told “Fox News Sunday: “You bet I do.”

“While leaks are wrong, I think it is totally wrong for our president, in secret, to selectively declassify certain information and to empower people in his White House to leak it to favored reporters so they can discredit political enemies,” she griped.
Look at the laws, you idiot! There isn't some OTHER President with the "real" power to declassify things!

But I digress.

More good stuff:
SOCOM has dispatched small teams of Army Green Berets and other Special Operations troops to US embassies in about 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America, where they do operational planning and intelligence gathering, the paper said.

The plan reportedly gives the military leadership leeway to inform -- rather than win the approval of -- the US ambassador in a country before conducting military operations in that country.

Not only are they gutting the involvement of the hopelessly politicized CIA, they are also taking out the meddling of the State department to throw up roadblocks.

I am reminded how we had Mullah Omar in our sites shortly after 9/11, but had to waste time getting approval from a cabal of military lawyers about whether or not using a 2,000-lb bomb to take out the building he was in would be "legal" or not (a ridiculous concept in this context!), and while they dithered he got away.

And finally, in addition to the main broad "general campaign plan",
A second plan is focused specifically on Al-Qaeda and associated movements, including more than a dozen groups spread across the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, according to the report.
The third plan sets out how the military can both disrupt and respond to another major terrorist strike on the United States, The Post said.

It includes annexes that offer options for the military to retaliate quickly against specific groups, individuals or state sponsors depending on who is believed to be behind an attack.

SOCOM has since 2003 been in charge of military planning for the war on terror, declared after the September 11, 2001 strikes. Its annual budget has grown 60 percent to eight billion dollars.
The only question becomes, now that we've got a juicy target list, why wait for an attack?