White House, Military Officials At Odds Over CIA Presence in Afghanistan

Some want more CIA agents in Afghanistan, others say that's not realistic

With some officials interested in ensuring a long-term US presence in Afghanistan, and negotiations that would have the US military ultimately leaving the country, some in the Trump Administration are looking at the CIA as a stop-gap.

The CIA has a long-standing presence in Afghanistan, but it is embedded with US troops, and adding more CIA personnel with no place to embed them could be a problem, with Pentagon officials quick to point out that obvious issue.

This is giving way to a lot of further debates about post-war Afghanistan, and some appear to be arguing against a peace deal if they can’t have a huge CIA presence indefinitely after that.

Trump seems to be trying to keep those in his cabinet happy, promising the US will “always” have a presence in Afghanistan. There is no obvious middle ground to take, however, as the Taliban is sure to consider any large military presence a non-starter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.