Tuesday, December 16, 2003

CIA sends more

The CIA has sent more people to Iraq to help stop the "insurgency."

Under growing pressure to produce better information on the insurgency in Iraq, the CIA has embarked on its largest mobilization of manpower to the region since the war began, said U.S. intelligence sources familiar with the operation.

In recent weeks, the agency has begun a buildup that one source said could add as many as 100 people to an agency presence that is already several hundred strong in the war-torn country. Among those being sent, sources said, are case officers, counter-terrorism analysts and a small contingent of senior officials from the agency's clandestine service.

The moves come at a time when many in the intelligence community acknowledge that they are frustrated with their inability to penetrate an insurgency that continues to carry out deadly attacks on American soldiers and Iraqi civilians almost every day.

The deployment also gives the CIA ammunition to counter criticism that it is not doing enough. One official briefed on the plans said the agency had described the mobilization as part of a broader push to "get on top of the problem." The deployment coincides with an ongoing effort by the CIA to begin assembling a new Iraqi intelligence service, partly by tapping remnants of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's vast but notoriously corrupt spying and security apparatus.


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