Intel Officer Critiques U.S. Spies

Military intelligence officers in Afghanistan need to shift their focus from enemy groups and tactics to understanding the local culture, people, and networks, top intelligence official Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn wrote in a blistering report published Monday. He said U.S. spies are "ignorant of local economics and landowners, hazy about who the powerbrokers are and how they might be influenced, incurious about the correlations between various development projects and levels of cooperation among villagers, and disengaged from people in the best position to find answers." Ouch. The report was published less than a week after the suicide bombing inside the CIA base in Afghanistan, but one of Flynn's co-authors, Marine Capt. Matt Pottiner, says the report does not relate to the CIA, and "is primarily about improving intelligence within the Department of Defense." The Pentagon backed the report.