U.S. Expands Secret Military Activity

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Photo: Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

General David Petraeus has ordered a “broad expansion” of clandestine military activity in the Middle East, according to the Times. The secret directive, which the top American commander signed in September, increased the number of troops sent to areas including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Somalia in hopes of "disrupting militant groups or counter threats," as well as building internal networks against al-Qaeda and collecting intelligence about future attacks. Officials said the order allows for reconnaissance that could lead to potential military strikes in Iran if tensions with the country escalate. [NYT]