The US military operates a vast network of soldiers, civilians, and contractors that it uses for clandestine missions both at home and abroad, Newsweek has claimed, adding that the force also manipulates social media.
After a two-year investigation, the outlet reported that the undercover army consists of around 60,000 people, many of whom use fake identities to carry out their assignments. The Pentagon’s agents operate in real life and online, with some even embedded in private businesses and well-known companies.
The massive program, unofficially known as “signature reduction,” is reportedly 10 times the size of the CIA’s clandestine service, making it the “largest undercover force the world has ever known,” Newsweek claimed. But the true scale and scope of the shadow army remains a closely guarded secret. No one knows the program’s total size, and Congress has never held a hearing on the military’s increasing reliance on signature reduction. There appears to be very little or no transparency regarding the massive clandestine military force, even as its continued development “challenges US laws, the Geneva Conventions, the code of military conduct, and basic accountability,” the outlet said.
Around half of the signature reduction force is said to consist of special operations personnel who hunt down terrorists in war zones and work in “unacknowledged hot spots” such as North Korea and Iran. Military intelligence specialists reportedly make up the second-largest part of the secret army.