Skip to comments.What CIA Has To Learn After Khost Bombing
Posted on 01/07/2010 6:05:43 PM PST by Kaslin
In terms of loss of life, the bombing of the CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan, may be the costliest mistake in the agency's history. So it's important to look carefully for clues about how it happened, and lessons for the future.
CIA veterans cite a series of warning signs that the agency wasn't paying enough attention to the counterintelligence threat posed by al-Qaida. These danger signals weren't addressed because the agency underestimated its adversary and overestimated its own skills and those of its allies.
The time to fix these problems is now not with a spasm of second-guessing that will further weaken the CIA but through the agency's own adaptation to this war zone. As the Khost attack made painfully clear, the CIA needs better tradecraft for this conflict.
By getting a suicide bomber inside a CIA base, the al-Qaida network showed that it remains a sophisticated adversary, despite intense pressure from CIA Predator attacks. "They didn't get lucky, they got good, and we got sloppy all over Afghanistan," says one agency counterterrorism veteran.
This shouldn't have been a surprise: CIA sources say that over the past year, two al-Qaida allies in Afghanistan the Haqqani and Hekmatyar networks have run double-agent operations. That tactic succeeded disastrously in Khost a week ago, when the CIA's defenses were penetrated by a Jordanian doctor posing as an informant for the Jordanian intelligence service.
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I always figured the CIA operated in much the same ways as the “Omega Sector” agency featured in True Lies. I guess that assumption was in error.
Finding reliable double agents is always difficult. It was difficult with the Communists, and I’d say it’s even harder with the Muslims. Muslims are brought up from childhood with the idea that it’s good to lie to your enemies—not just excusable, or unavoidable, but good. It’s part of their religion.
Why did the CIA make a mistake as elementary as letting a double agent into a room full of CIA agents without searching him first? The only conjecture I can propose was that they were worried that it would offend his Mulsim sense of honor if they searched him. Muslims are EXTREMELY sensitive about their honor.
Well, tough. If this guy wanted to work with them, then he would have to be made to understand that part of the job was to be searched and monitored. In the Communist days, you couldn’t absolutely trust anyone. If anything, that is even more true of this new war.
When the Islamic religion preaches to lie to kill your enemy then one should never completely trust them. Not unless they disengage from allah completely, but even that can be the biggest of lies. They must be TRANSPARENT! I certainly pray for a mistake like this to never happen again and for the offisers famies. We cannot let them win any battle, any war or remit any land ever. We will never surrender( with kudos to Churchill fo my hope in killing this evil for good).
I’d guess that when the CIA needs an epitaph, “the agency underestimated its adversary and overestimated its own skills and those of its allies” will do nicely.
How about? Trust no one, ever.
CIA: “Welcome honored guest. In the islamic tradition which we 30-something-yr old experienced case officers ALL know so well from our Ivy League graduate studies of islam, we understand it would be an insult to search you or even to show you the bottom of our feet”
Bomber: “Salamuu Alaykam. and Allu Akbar” (BOOM)