Write 4 page essay on the topic Strategic analysis and covert action.
hat little research exists on the ethical analysis of various intelligence operations, such as the covert actions and the process of collecting and disseminating information2. It is important to denote that intelligence institutions usually operate under a high level of secrecy and deception. This paper analyses the ethical values of the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
It is important to denote that the CIA carries out two major functions in its attempt to protect the citizens of the United States and the various interests of the United States government3. These functions include collecting intelligence information, as well as engaging in a covert operation. A covert action is referred to as a operation that is either conducted in a political or a military manner, and whose sponsor is not known to the public. These actions might include carrying out an assassination on a potential threat to the American interests, or even sponsoring a political group to take over power in a foreign state4. This paper analyzes whether it is ethical to combine these two functions within one central body. The position of this paper is that it is unethical to combine the information gathering role, and that of a covert action to be conducted by one central institution.
Due to their roles of carrying out a covert action, the CIA loosed integrity amongst the American public. On this basis, it was impossible to effectively gather sensitive information for purposes of carrying out their roles. For example, on the 22nd of December 1974, the New York Times published a report by Seymour Hersh. This report criticized the activities of the CIA5. The activities that this report criticized included the spreading of propaganda by the CIA, the bribing of politicians, assassination of world leaders, contaminating of the various food supplies and undermining some national governments. In a report to President Henry Kissinger, the then director of the CIA admitted these
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