CIA Let Iraq Spy Network Degrade After Occupation Ended

No Troops on the Ground, CIA Mostly Stayed in Embassy

Officials familiar with the situation are faulting the CIA’s lack of intelligence on Iraq in the lead-up to the ISIS offensive, saying the agency let most of its huge spy network rot on the vine after the occupation ended.

With no ground troops to back them up, the large CIA presence in Iraq mostly wound up hanging out in the Baghdad embassy, reluctant to go anywhere without protection.

The CIA defended its spy network, insisting anyone who was really familiar with the intelligence the CIA had produced on Iraq wouldn’t have been surprised by what ISIS had done.

Other officials, keen to shift the blame overseas, are faulting Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, saying he had compromised a number of CIA spies over the years. They implied Iran had something to do with this.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of