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El Pais, Spain

Demilitarize the CIA

Translated By Natalie Legros

19 November 2012

Edited by Heather Martin


Spain - El Pais - Original Article (Spanish)

Former general David Petraeus' resignation as the director of the CIA has put almost all the attention on the Puritanism of a country in which adultery continues to be a crime, not just in the armed forces, but even in 23 states of the union. These days various high military commanders are being investigated for extramarital affairs or other sexual relations. Among them stands out John Allen, at the command of NATO's forces in Afghanistan, in relation to the detected emails of the two protagonists of the Petraeus case: Paula Broadwell, the biographer and the former general's lover, and Jill Kelley. Allen's appointment as the supreme allied commander in the Atlantic alliance has remained pending.

In the U.S. Army, accusations of adultery usually materialize if they involve danger of blackmail or threaten security. And what is being investigated in the thousands of emails from these protagonists is whether or not confidential or secret information has been violated.

Discovered through an FBI investigation (in charge of internal intelligence in the U.S.) have been nothing less than private emails from the director of the CIA, which could point toward something more than a conflict between agencies – toward fundamental discrepancies.

Aside from a question of position, these cases are reopening the debate regarding a security strategy put in place by the CIA for years and supported by Obama himself since he arrived in the White House. The CIA has been acquiring a growing military role since before 9/11, and in fact, after those attacks, their agents were the first to arrive in Afghanistan. Today the CIA is an essential element of a strategy that is keen on special operations and drone attacks – of which the agency possesses a true fleet – over large invasions. Petraeus' arrival in Langley, the CIA headquarters, as the star general who wrote the counterinsurgency manual that changed the Iraq War after the initial failures of those who participated, marked a high point in this process.

Obama, before his second term, is going to have to remodel his entire external team and security team. It would be the occasion to demilitarize the CIA, whose duties as intelligence service should be others.



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