War on Terror

Taliban Cripples CIA Operation

The CIA lost decades of experience in the deadly attack on its Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan. The head of that intelligence-gathering operation was among the seven killed, and with her death (her name has not been released, though it’s been acknowledged that she was a mother of three) the agency lost 14 years of Afghan experience. The CIA is still terribly short on personnel who speak the local language and know the region, and the attack sharpens a dilemma for the agents, who must meet with locals—and potential enemies—to gather intel. “In the old days when we were running Russian operations, if you had a double agent the worst that happened was he feeds you false information. These days if you have a double agent he detonates in your face,” a former CIA officer said.