Tree of Eden

Gates backs critique of spy agencies in Afghanistan | Reuters

Posted in Uncategorized by T.Salami on January 8, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrives for President Obama’s security meeting at the White House, January 5, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates threw his support on Thursday behind a harsh critique of U.S. spy agencies in Afghanistan, increasing pressure on them to shift focus from killing insurgents to winning hearts and minds.

The rare public critique by U.S. Major General Michael Flynn, deputy chief of staff for intelligence for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, put a spotlight on what some American officials describe as a behind-the-scenes tug-of-war within the U.S. military and intelligence community over priorities.

In his report, Flynn described U.S. intelligence officers and analysts in Afghanistan as “ignorant of local economics and landowners, hazy about who the powerbrokers are and how they might be influenced … and disengaged from people in the best position to find answers.”

While the U.S. military’s focus has shifted under President Barack Obama to mounting a counterinsurgency campaign aimed at sidelining the Taliban by winning over the Afghan people, Flynn said the intelligence community was instead still focused on capturing and killing mid- to high-level insurgents.

Posted via web from CNS

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