ASEAN Defense: Will the CIA Up Thai Activity?

By Stingray, this blog national security journalist

CIA Triple Afghan Task Force:

The CIA is preparing to deploy record numbers of operatives and analysts to Afghanistan, according to US officials with access to classified documents, who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Los Angeles Times.

Sources said the numbers could reach 2,000 by the end of this year. Most intelligent analyst told this blog, that the effectiveness of the US military, called failure and pointless, in Afghanistan is expected to increase.

Bangkok’s View:

“It is not just an isolated event, but is occurring in many other places,” said a western intelligent operative in Bangkok, declining to comment further.

Latest estimates puts the CIA numbers in Thailand at anywhere from 60-90, most are involved in gathering economic intelligence in support of US business and US government negotiations with the Thai government. Some are security analyst, especially because Thailand is very much under the influence of their military. Then a few is reportedly still remain involved in “classified” missions.

The intelligence sources  said the CIA surge in Afghanistan is not expected to create a drain on personal resources for the CIA, as the CIA had intensified its recruitment in recent years. The source said also that the CIA that is heading into Afghanistan could be just the head of a much larger force.

The source declined to identify what forces, but said that the CIA have paramilitary capabilities and have been known to use contract farming for the best people for specific jobs and tasks.

Obama in a Tight Spot:

The controlled leak of the news by the US intelligent for open source intelligent consumption, comes at a time the Democrats in the US are against Obama sending in more troops into Afghanistan, a country infected with terrorism and armed Taliban.

Obama said yesterday, that he will set an objective for American soldiers before deciding if he will send in more troops. This is a reverse of earlier Obama’s strong position in sending in more troops. However, Afghanistan president is concerned of the security situation in Afghanistan, and it appears that Obama has decided on a compromise way out of a difficult situation by heading to the CIA.

Little Congressional Oversight:

While sending in troops require congressional oversight, sending in the CIA, under the American Patriot Act, is up to the US president and subjects to little congressional control.

According to the latest intelligence, when the intelligence surge is over the CIA’s station at the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, which coordinates CIA activity in the country, will be “among the largest in the agency’s history”, rivaling and perhaps even surpassing those in Iraq, and even in Vietnam in the late 1960s.

By the end of 2001, the Agency’s presence in Afghanistan was limited to about 150 agents. This number had doubled by 2005, and current estimates place the CIA’s force in the country to about 700, a number which may double again, once the intelligence surge has reached its peak.

CIA in Paramilitary Operation:

The surge will include an increase of the Agency’s Crisis Operations Liaison Teams, which are small units of CIA paramilitaries that are embedded and share intelligence with US military commands. According to the Times, the CIA surge will parallel similar surges in Afghanistan by virtually every other major US intelligence service, including the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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