CIA on the Ground in Libya

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BY ALYSSA CARTEE ANCHOR CHANCE SEALES You're watching multisoruce world news analysis from Newsy In the m...
BY ALYSSA CARTEE ANCHOR CHANCE SEALES You're watching multisoruce world news analysis from Newsy In the midst of the unrest in Libya -- rebel forces, government forces -- and the CIA? Reports indicate CIA operatives have been gathering intelligence on the ground for weeks. CBS spoke with a retired military official who says the CIA’s success depends on its focus. “There are incredible elements of risk. The CIAs exceptionally good at this. They know how to do it. But the thing is, is what is -- you know, what is the United States, what is NATO trying to accomplish in Libya? And frankly, that's still not very clear.” A writer for Wired wonders how the CIA being on the ground fits in with President Obama’s vision of limited U.S. involvement. “Expect legislators to ask how the Obama team’s presentation of a limited war … square with the insertion of CIA teams on the ground. Presidents who send CIA teams into hellholes usually do so to avoid sending larger military elements; but often, those teams end up presaging an escalation, not substituting for one.” The news of CIA operations has left many wondering if this means the U.S. involvement in Libya will be extended. NBC’s Chuck Todd explains what CIA involvement could mean for the U.S. “This is the first step to where the U.S. Could be doing covertly arming the rebels in their fight against Gaddafi. Now, U.S. Officials caution that they have not done that yet. This is essentially laying the legal groundwork to do that.” HLN talked to a former CIA Operative who believes training opposition forces could take a while and may not even work. Robert Baer, former CIA Operative” “To train a force like this in Libya would take at least six months and even then I'm not sure what you would get. So many of these covert action things have failed even when you have more time.” And a writer for BBC says that arming the anti-government forces is a tricky move. “It seems to me that this is a slippery slope. You provide weapons, so you provide trainers. The trainers need protecting. The protectors needs supply lines. The supply lines need protecting. Before you know it there are more than just a few foreign boots on the ground.” As is custom with covert intelligence operations, the government has neither confirmed nor denied that the CIA is at work in Libya. Follow Newsy_Videos on Twitter Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy