Officials: CIA to Stay in Iraq, Afghanistan for Years After Wars

Baghdad-Based CIA Spying on Maliki Government

US officials said today the CIA is planning to maintain a large and secretive presence inside both Iraq and Afghanistan long after the US occupations of those nations end.

CIA Director David Petraeus

In Iraq, which US troops have already left, the massive CIA presence in Baghdad has been re-purposed. Once focused chiefly on tackling al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and other insurgents, the spies are now “monitoring developments in the increasingly antagonistic government.”

In many ways thing have come full circle for the CIA, which had a presence on the ground spying on the Saddam Hussein regime before the 2003 US invasion. Now, having spent the last eight years helping the military prop up the Maliki regime, the agency again finds itself there spying.

In Afghanistan — though exactly what sort of government the occupation will leave behind remains up in the air — the expectation is much the same as with Iraq, only moreso. The deployment will be even bigger, characterized by more aggressive operations and constant drone strikes.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • jeff_davis

    I'm being absolutely sincere when I ask anyone out there if they can explain to me what is keeping the new Iraqi govt from "inviting" the US to close its embassy and leave. Now the easy answer is money — gobs of it flowing into Iraq and ending up in the pockets of Iraqi politicians. But they can't bribe the Iraqi people, and I'm inclined to think that the vast majority of the Iraqi people want the US ***COMPLETELY*** gone, that the vast majority of the Iraqi people don't want US drone overflights of Iraq, don't want US troops rebranded as "trainers" on "Iraqi" air bases, don't want US military aircraft purchased with Iraqi oil money or the US "trainers" and continued (and unwanted by the Iraqi people) "partnership" (wink wink) with the US that goes with that.

    Perhaps there's some international law regarding embassies, or the original "agreement" (imposed by the US occupier) has some legalism which "constrains" Iraqi sovereignty in this matter of the embassy. Anyone know anything? Anyone seen the embassy-enabling documents?

    Is it just me? I hear nothing — absolutely nothing, in the MSM or alternate media — about the Iraqi attitude to the giant spy-central-and-mercenary-garrison-posing-as-an-embassy. Anyone hear anything? Links, anyone, to the Iraqi view of the giant "embassy"

  • Johnny_Warbucks

    That may prove to more prophetic than they think. When the USan Empire collapses, they may just as well be trapped in there forever. Won't that be poetic justice?