The C.I.A.’s new mission might be narrower, a senior intelligence official stated. It no will longer have to assist defend 1000’s of troops and diplomats and can focus as a substitute on looking terrorist teams that may assault past Afghanistan’s borders. However the speedy American exit devastated the company’s networks, and spies will almost definitely need to rebuild them and handle sources from overseas, in response to present and former officers.
The US can even need to cope with troublesome companions like Pakistan, whose unmatched potential to play either side of a combat pissed off generations of American leaders.
William J. Burns, the company’s director, has stated that it is able to accumulate intelligence and conduct operations from afar, or “over the horizon,” however he informed lawmakers within the spring that operatives’ potential to collect intelligence and act on threats will erode. “That’s merely a reality,” stated Mr. Burns, who traveled to Kabul this week for secret talks with the Taliban.
Challenges for the C.I.A. lie forward in Afghanistan, the senior intelligence official acknowledged, whereas including that the company was not ranging from scratch. It had lengthy predicted the collapse of the Afghan authorities and a Taliban victory, and since no less than July had warned that they could come sooner than expected.
Within the days after the Sept. 11 assaults, C.I.A. officers have been the primary to satisfy with Afghan militia fighters. The company went on to notch successes in Afghanistan, ruthlessly looking and killing Qaeda operatives, its major mission within the nation after Sept. 11.
It constructed an unlimited community of informants who met their company handlers in Afghanistan, then used the data to conduct drone strikes in opposition to suspected terrorists. The company prevented Al Qaeda from utilizing Afghanistan as a base to mount a large-scale assault in opposition to america because it had on Sept. 11.
However that chapter got here with a price in each life and status. A minimum of 19 personnel have been killed in Afghanistan — a dying toll eclipsed solely by the company’s losses through the Vietnam Conflict. A number of company paramilitary operatives would later die fighting the Islamic State, an indication of how far afield the unique mission had strayed. The final C.I.A. operative to die in Afghanistan was a former elite reconnaissance Marine, killed in a firefight in Could 2019, a grim bookend to the battle.