Missile Strikes Are Learning Tool: CIA

Chief says agency 'tickles' terrorist enemy to gauge reaction
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Sep 17, 2008 5:30 PM CDT
A Predator drone like the ones used to strike at terrorists in Afghanistan takes off from Fort Huachuca, Ariz., in this 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The CIA purposely uses missile strikes to "tickle" enemy groups, often by targeting a single person, to learn from their responses, agency chief Michael Hayden said today. Hayden also told a gathering of Air Force members the CIA has "picked up insights" from working alongside the military, the AP reports. The agency often uses military weaponry, like unmanned aircraft, in missions along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

"We use military operations to excite the enemy, prompting him to respond," Hayden said. "In that response we learn so much."