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Is the CIA responsible for overseeing all US military black-ops missions on foreign soil? I am wondering if it's the CIA that oversees all military black-ops mission on foreign soil, or the Pentagon or some other organizations can have their own military black-ops missions on foreign soil unbeknownst to the CIA.

In video games like Call of Duty: Black Ops, the CIA plays an important roles in overseeing military black-ops missions on foreign soil.

So I am wondering if other agencies like the DIA have their own military black-ops missions on foreign soil, and if they're involved in the assassination of foreign nationals, the destruction of military assets and other such missions.

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    Have you done any research on this? Before people ask here they are supposed to exhaust the usual avenues like Google or Wikipedia. Another problem with your question is the definition of black ops -- are you excluding official military units like the SEALs and Delta Force? – o.m. Jul 14 at 4:58
  • I'm not sure I agree with the close reason, but I will point the OP at the CIA wikipedia page, which has an answer in the second paragraph. If you have more specific questions about it, they may be good questions here. – Bobson Jul 14 at 7:14
  • @o.m. black ops refer to a type of clandestine operation where the operators do not want to give away their affiliation. For example, if the US sends SEALs in uniform into another country, it may be a secret op but it's not a black op. If the SEALs are sent with non-attributable clothes (dark cloths without any mention of their affiliation to the US like their uniforms would have) and they are given weapons that are non-standard issue (e.g. guns that are used by local militias with the aim of hiding US involvement). – JJ for Transparency and Monica Jul 14 at 8:33
  • @JJJ, if one uses that definition, the original question is rather inexplicable. US forces have been used out-of-uniform and that's relatively easy to find online, for stuff that goes back a generation or two. – o.m. Jul 14 at 8:55
  • @o.m. and the question is whether such operations are always overseen through the CIA or not. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Jul 14 at 8:56
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You talk about black operations, which Wikipedia defines as:

A black operation (or black op) is a covert or clandestine operation by a government agency, a military unit or a paramilitary organization; it can include activities by private companies or groups. Key features of a black operation are that it is secret and it is not attributable to the organization carrying it out.

It goes on to talk about black bag operations, which are an activity within a black operation. Again, from Wikipedia:

A single such activity may be called a black bag operation; that term is primarily used for covert or clandestine surreptitious entries into structures to obtain information for human intelligence operations.


Such black bag operations are also carried out by the FBI. For example, this ABC article from 2007 states:

"The refocusing of FBI operational priorities and the new emphasis placed on intelligence-based activities…has resulted in a dramatic increase" in the demand for so-called "black bag" jobs, in which teams of highly-trained specialists covertly enter a home or office, search its contents and leave without indicating they had been there, states the budget document. It does not detail how many of the secret searches it carries out, and the FBI did not respond to comment. The bureau is asking Congress for an additional $5 million to pay for the operations and more than a dozen new specialized personnel.

In 1995, most of the FBI’s secret search operations were related to criminal investigations, according to the document. Last year, close to 90 percent of such operations were for national security matters, it asserts.

An example of such an operation by the FBI on US soil is described on Wikipedia:

As example, in 1947, after American spy Elizabeth Bentley had defected from the Soviet underground and had started talking to the FBI, the FBI broke into her Brooklyn hotel to do a "black-bag job" to verify her own background – and to look for anything otherwise. "They found nothing out of the ordinary."

The FBI also lists a number of documents regarding older such operations on its website.

So the answer is no, the FBI handles such operations as well that we know of. There may also be other organisations that coordinate such operations, but the FBI examples suffice to answer the question and I haven't been able to find explicit references of other organisations or agencies (in the US).

  • Wasn't the question about operations abroad? Not within the United States? – Obie 2.0 Jul 14 at 14:48
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    @Obie2.0 it wasn't before the latest edit. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Jul 14 at 14:49

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