CIA exposed by frontline Afganistan border role

CIA exposed by frontline role along Afghanistan and Pakistan border
Suicide bombing of mountain base highlights agency's increasingly militaristic role in the region
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Ed Pilkington, Friday 1 January 2010 22.34 GMT
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The suicide bombing of a CIA base in a remote mountain region of Afghanistan this week highlights the agency's increasingly militaristic role in the region.

The base was a key part of the secret US mission to kill militant leaders across the border with Pakistan using unmanned drone aircraft. Seven CIA operatives were killed in the bombing and several more seriously injured.

The blast on Wednesday in Khost province is the second most deadly in the CIA's history, eclipsed only by the 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut in which eight employees died.

Among the dead was the head of the CIA team, a woman described as a veteran of the agency's secret intelligence operations. The team was based at Forward Operating Base Chapman, a camp once used by the Afghan army but now a central planning point for the US drone war.
Thank you for posting this report about the tragic loss in Khost.
May their souls lost rest in peace.

It has clarified some misconceptions that mitigate something that could have been far more serious.
At least base security principles can be reinstituted following this awful lapse.

The Pushtun ANA officer infiltrator scenario, first reported & subsequently claimed by the T-men,
would have posed a far greater threat and wider implications than what appears to be poor base security & lax procedures.
Especially as the US has stated that their main aim is make the ANA credible of taking on the defense of the Afghan nation
and therefore allowing for an eventual coalition withdrawal.

However a recently commissioned report on the ANA makes for despondent reading
Report on Afghan National Army released
with consequences that challenges the time-line recently set by the US administration.

Coupled with Karzai saying he expects to need foreign troops for another 20 years,
As the ANA has largely failed to recruit Pushtuns into what is largely a Tajik AN Army.
Demographics and 8 years of wasted opportunities don't make a successful handover seem like a possibility within this [US] president's term.
Let alone a further four years beyond that.
Indeed this failure among others has brought the Pushtunistan issue bubbling back up along with implosion of Pakistan.

Karzai's new cabinet is another example of an important opportunity lost.
With the reappointment of the impotent Wardak as military chief - he was justifiably known as "the admiral" during the 80s -
and the venal Fahim as veep, along with the Karzai clan still at the centre of a rotten central government core,
means that there is little change your average bucolic Abdul can believe in.
The Khost incident is little more than an opsec and gullibility issue.

The ability to change the outcome of this war cannot be done by a compromised ANA,
corrupt ineffectual government and just thirty more thousand boots.

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