Troop Pullout from Afghanistan? Not for CIA and Special Operations

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The U.S. pullout from Afghanistan within the next few years will by no means include all American soldiers, or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
By 2014, the Obama administration plans to withdraw most of the military’s large-scale combat units. But remaining behind as “an enduring presence,” as National Security Advisor Tom Donilon put it, will be thousands of Special Forces, as well as an unknown number of CIA agents—the two elements that were the first to arrive in Afghanistan shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Commandoes and CIA operatives may spend another decade in the country battling the Taliban and hunting down al-Qaeda members. They’ll also provide training and assistance to Afghan security forces which will have to take over the brunt of the fighting against anti-government forces.
Officials in Washington have discussed keeping about 10,000 special ops troops in Afghanistan indefinitely, along with another 20,000 to 30,000 conventional forces to provide logistics and support.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Spec Ops, CIA First in, Last out of Afghanistan (by Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press)
U.S. Prison in Afghanistan Has 10 Times as Many Prisoners as Guantánamo (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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