News you may have missed #305

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Comment: US-Pakistani Spy Relations Just Short of Open War

ISI HQ

ISI HQ

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS* | intelNews.org |
Officially, the United States and Pakistan are allies in the so-called “war on terrorism”. But diplomats and intelligence agents on the ground tell a very different story. For several months now, Washington and Islamabad have engaged in a low-intensity intelligence war, with the Pakistanis accusing the Americans of failing to share actionable intelligence, and the Americans blaming Pakistani security services for maintaining clandestine links with Taliban groups. On at least one occasion, a senior advisor to the US-backed Afghan leadership has claimed that Pakistani intelligence services provide assistance to suicide bombers willing to strike targets in Kabul and other cities and towns in Afghanistan.

Read more of this post

CIA to deploy in record numbers in Afghanistan

CIA HQ

CIA HQ

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The CIA is preparing to deploy record numbers of operatives and analysts to Afghanistan, according to US officials with access to classified documents, who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Los Angeles Times. Some said that once the intelligence surge is over the CIA’s station at the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, which coordinates CIA activity in the country, will be “among the largest in the agency’s history”, rivaling and perhaps even surpassing those in Iraq, and even in Vietnam in the late 1960s. By the end of 2001, the Agency’s presence in Afghanistan was limited to about 150 agents. This number had doubled by 2005, and current estimates place the CIA’s force in the country to about 700, a number which may double again, once the intelligence surge has reached its peak. Read more of this post

Analysis: CIA “cronyism, favoritism” prompts resignations

Art Brown

Art Brown

By IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
Rumors emerged last week that the leading candidate to head the CIA’s station in Kabul, Afghanistan, has no experience in the Middle East or south Asia, and speaks no local languages. This is despite a bitter bureaucratic turf battle between the CIA leadership and the office the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to find the best-suited person for the job. Why is it still so hard, after nearly eight years in Afghanistan, for the CIA to find qualified senior managers? Jeff Stein of SpyTalk says it’s because skilled staff are demoralized and frustrated by the Agency’s chronic inefficiencies. He quotes an anonymous former senior counterterrorism officer who claims that escalating “cronyism and favoritism” are coupled by the lack of any serious “effort to address […] massive senior leadership problems”. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0019

  • More interesting podcasts on Afghanistan at Electric Politics. George Kenney, of Electric News, has posted a full transcript of last month’s interesting interview with Graham E. Fuller, CIA’s former station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan. Also, a new highly interesting interview on Afghanistan has been posted on the Electric News website, this time with George Wilson. A veteran reporter who covered the Vietnam and Iraq wars, Wilson makes some noteworthy comparisons between Vietnam and Afghanistan.
  • Panetta, not Blair, should name CIA station chiefs, says ex-CIA agent. Haviland Smith, former CIA agent in Europe and the Middle East, has penned an editorial for The Baltimore Sun, in which he denounces as “simple insanity” efforts by Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, to have a say at who gets appointed as CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.  This is the second ex-CIA agent to issue the same warning in recent days.
  • Two more people arrested in Lebanon for spying for Israel. This raises the number of those arrested for belonging to an alleged Israeli spy ring in southern Lebanon to nearly 40. The latest arrestees include Ziad al Homsi, who in 1969 was photographed with Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat.

News you may have missed #0006

Analysis: Former CIA agent warns of Pentagon takeover

Robert Baer

Robert Baer

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Robert Baer, the former CIA agent whose memoirs were behind the film Syriana, has written a new column for Time magazine, in which he warns that a Pentagon takeover of the CIA may be again in the works. The bureaucratic infighting between military and civilian agencies for control of the CIA is old news. But Baer believes that the military background of Admiral Dennis Blair, President Barack Obama’s new Director for National Intelligence (DNI), may be a factor in placing the Pentagon closer to its ultimate goal of swallowing the CIA. The former CIA agent mentions the dispute between Admiral Blair and CIA Director Leon Panetta over the appointment of Washington’s new intelligence chief in Kabul. Rumor has it that Blair is preparing to name a uniformed officer for the position, whereas Panetta wants to maintain the CIA tradition of appointing a civilian intelligence official. Read more of this post