For the past 11 years, and especially the during the last five, a significant portion of U.S. foreign policy and warfighting has been conducted through covert action—the secret efforts led by intelligence agencies to protect America's national security abroad. While these efforts have clearly been successful in many cases, they have grown much larger than the unique, limited means they were designed to be. Today, covert operations appear to have expanded to include what have traditionally been overt military and diplomatic functions, blurring the lines of authority and leaving the public and most of Congress in the dark.
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