RealNews

Violence, Turnover Blunt CIA Effort in Iraq

The CIA has rushed to Iraq four times as many clandestine officers as it had planned on, but it has had little success penetrating the resistance and identifying foreign terrorists involved in the insurgency, according to senior intelligence officials and intelligence experts recently briefed on Iraq. The CIA mission in Iraq, originally slated to have 85 officers, has grown to more than 300 full-time case officers and close to 500 personnel in total, including contractors and people on temporary assignment. It is widely known among agency officials to be the largest station in the world, and the biggest since Saigon during the Vietnam War 30 years ago. Despite the size of the contingent, the agency’s efforts to penetrate Iraq’s ethnic factions and gain intelligence about the insurgency have been hampered by continued violence, the use of temporary and short-term personnel, and the pressing demands of military commanders for tactical intelligence they can use in daily confrontations with armed insurgents. Full Story

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