Viagra Helps CIA Win Over Afghan Chiefs
Sexual performance drugs make aging warlords true-blue pals against Taliban
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2008 3:34 AM CST
Some 20 elders from Shinwari district have lunch after a gathering in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, last year.   (AP Photo/Farzana Wahidy)
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(Newser) – Little blue pills are proving to be a potent weapon in the CIA's efforts to win support from Afghan chieftains in the battle against the Taliban, the Washington Post reports. The notoriously fickle warlords—often aging men with up to four wives to satisfy—usually expect to be paid for the co-operation, and agents say giving them money isn't always the best idea.

Chieftains given cash will often spend it on flashy goods, making it too obvious that they're paid informants, say agents. Something that leaves little trace is best, and sexual performance drugs have turned out to be a proven way to win true-blue friends. "He came up to us beaming," one official recalls of a 60-year-old clan leader given a few blue pills. "He said, 'You are a great man.' After that we could do whatever we wanted in his area."