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 Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.