A covert operation is a military or political activity carried out in such a way that the parties responsible for the action can be an open secret, but cannot be proved. Covert and clandestine are related terms, but not interchangeable. According to a United States Department of Defense definition, a covert operation is:
|“||An operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor. A covert operation differs from a clandestine operation in that emphasis is placed on concealment of identity of sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation.||”|
Covert operations are generally illegal in the target state and are frequently in violation of the laws of the enacting country. Therefore covert operations are typically performed in secrecy because they break specific laws or compromise policy in another country.
In other words the US is financing illegal undercover military operations to destabilise Iran, in order to foment unrest.
WASHINGTON, June 29 (AFP) Jun 29, 2008
The United States gave a major boost to covert operations against Iran with Congress’s approval last year of President George W. Bush’s request for 400 million dollars, a US magazine reported Sunday.
The move reveals a “major escalation” in clandestine operations aimed at destabilizing the Islamic republic’s religious leadership amid concerns over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, said the report in the New Yorker magazine citing former military, intelligence, and congressional sources.
Among the methods being used are increased US support for minority and dissident groups and intelligence gathering about Iran’s nuclear facilities, said the article, written and reported by Seymour Hersh.
Although such covert activities in Iran are not new on the part of the United States, the magazine said the “scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded.”