The Pentagon has put together a secret force that is capable of undertaking highly sophisticated spy missions across the world, and the secretive parallel army is ten times larger than the CIA's clandestine group of operatives, according to an investigative report.
The Newsweek exclusively reported that the secretive Pentagon unit is undercover army. It is tasked with carrying out both domestic and foreign assignment, and the level of technological prowess and sophistication of the unit is mind-boggling.
Operating in Warzones Around the World
The Newsweek report said at least 30,000 of the United States' 'signature reduction' forces were special forces operating in warzones around the world, from Pakistan to West Africa.
Most of the 'shadow warriors' of the Pentagon are operating in conflicts such as North Korea and Iran, with as many as 30,000 of them deployed in warzones around the world, from Pakistan to West Africa.
The highly trained operatives can even manipulate biometric databases of foreign governments, the report says. The secret force is made up of regular soldiers, civilians and contractors.
The annual cost of maintaining this secret operation amounts to as much as $900million, and more than 100 private companies help service the unit besides a dozen government agencies.
One of the hallmarks of the army is a combat strategy known as 'signature reduction'. Under this strategy, extreme measures are adopted to protect undercover operatives and operations.
While the Defense Intelligence Agency blandly describes signature reduction as 'operational security (OPSEC) measures for a variety of activities and operations," the investigative report throws light on the details.
The strategy involves creating fake documentation and creating high-tech and undetectable devices that agents can use. While sophisticated false identities help agents evade official attention and pay bills and taxes in disguise, the ultra hi-tech devices aid in taking photograph or listen in on activities in remote parts of the world.
Blurring Lines Between Covert and Overt Operation
The 'signature reduction' measures blur the lines between a covert operation and an undercover operation. The chances of agents being outed is rarer when signature reduction strategies are followed. "Most people haven't even heard of the term signature reduction let alone what it creates," an officer quoted in the story says.
The force also includes cyber warriors who can work from anywhere in the world and pursue 'high-value' targets while covering their digital tracks.