This is something that's always kind of nagged at me a little bit. There's probably always been an answer to this out there, and I just haven't come across it yet.
I remember when I first started playing X-Com when it came out, I had it in my head that the public at large wasn't really aware of any looming alien invasion; and that the governments of the world were doing their best to cover up the existence of an alien menace.
I saw my squad as kind of a secret covert operation, trying to deal with alien assaults and UFOs quickly and quietly before the world spun down in panic. I probably didn't get any of this from the actual game. Probably had more to do with me watching a lot of X-Files at the time, and all of the alien conspiracy stuff that was out in the later 90's.
So anyway, that's the question: is the XCom team a covert secret operation denied by the world's governments and part of a greater cover-up, or are they a publicly-known team battling a known alien threat?
In short - when my team goes in to mop up an alien terror campaign, how does the nightly news cover the story?