CIA Has Covert 3,000-Man Army in Pakistan

NPR confirms book's report
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2010 11:44 AM CDT
A US Army Apache attack helicopter takes off after refueling during a several-hour firefight against the Taliban, in Zhari district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, in this Aug. 20, 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

(Newser) – Most of the reporting on Bob Woodward’s new book has focused on the internal strife in the Obama administration (see our item on that here.) But JJ Sutherland of NPR noticed another revelation in the recap by the Washington Post: The CIA has a clandestine 3,000-man paramilitary force made up of Afghans that operates in Pakistan. These highly trained “Counterterrorism pursuit teams” conduct sensitive missions against al-Qaeda and Taliban havens.

Sutherland got two US officials to confirm the existence of the force, on the condition of anonymity. One of them also went out of his way to praise the program, saying, “This is one of the best Afghan fighting forces, and it’s made major contributions to stability and security.”

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