Growing US support for CIA control of special forces: report

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Support is growing in the US military and administration of President Barack Obama for shifting to the CIA operational control over elite special forces teams secretly in Yemen, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said the foiled mail bombing plot by suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen has added urgency to an administration review of expanded military options.

Officials said such a shift would allow the United States to strike suspected militant targets unilaterally with greater stealth and speed, the report said.

Allowing US Special Operations Command units to operate under the Central Intelligence Agency would also give the United States greater leeway to strike without the explicit blessing of the Yemeni government, the paper said.

In addition to streamlining the launching of strikes, it would allow the Yemeni government deniability because the CIA operations would be covert, The Journal said.

The White House is already considering adding armed CIA drones to the arsenal against militants in Yemen, the paper said.

© 2010 AFP

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