Saturday, January 20, 2018

CIA-led force may speed Afghan exit

WASHINGTON — Elite special operations troops could be put under CIA control in Afghanistan after 2014, just as they were during last year's raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

The plan is one of several possible scenarios being debated by top Pentagon officials but has not yet been presented to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the White House or Congress, AP said it was told by its sources.

If the plan were adopted, the United States and Afghanistan could say there are no more U.S. troops on the ground in the war-torn country because once the SEALs, Rangers and other elite units are assigned to CIA control, even temporarily, they become spies.

No matter who's in charge, the special operations units still would target militants on joint raids with Afghans and keep training Afghan forces to do the job on their own.

AP said the idea floated by a senior defense intelligence official comes as U.S. defense chiefs try to figure out how to draw down troops fast enough to meet the White House's 2014 deadline. Pentagon staffers already have put forward a plan to hand over much of the war-fighting to special operations troops. This idea would take that plan one step further, shrinking the U.S. presence to less than 20,000 troops after 2014, AP said it was told by four current and two former U.S. officials it did not identify.

Pentagon spokesman George Little denied the idea is being discussed. "Any suggestion that such a plan exists is simply wrong," Little said Saturday.

A CIA-run war would mean that the U.S. public would not be informed about funding or operations, as they are in a traditional war. Oversight would fall to the White House, top intelligence officials, and a few congressional committees. Embedding journalists would be out of the question.

Neither the CIA nor Special Operations Command has put this plan forward officially to Panetta, AP said it was told by two senior defense officials. Other officials who said they have been part of discussions about the plan say it would require the assent of the White House and congressional oversight committees, and would be contingent upon the approval of the Afghan government, AP reported.

Comments

Motorcyclist crashes into Subaru while trying to flee Pinellas deputies

CLEARWATER — A 21-year-old fleeing from deputies on a motorcycle crashed into car while speeding away from a cruiser Friday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Michael Brown, of Clearwater, was recklessly driving his 2016...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Papadakis and Cizeron win 4th straight European gold

Papadakis and Cizeron win 4th straight European gold

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron have won their fourth consecutive European figure skating championship, extending the two world records they already held
Updated: 6 minutes ago

DUNEDIN — A 60-year-old Clearwater man who likely had a medical episode while driving is now in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after rolling over his car, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.A Largo police officer noticed a...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Bucks' Antetokounmpo to miss 2 games to rest sore knee

Bucks' Antetokounmpo to miss 2 games to rest sore knee

Milwaukee Bucks leading scorer Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss the next two games to rest a sore right knee
Updated: 10 minutes ago

AP Top News at 10:52 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 10:52 a.m. EST
Updated: 11 minutes ago
The Latest: Danish chef behind Noma thanks Bocuse

The Latest: Danish chef behind Noma thanks Bocuse

The Danish chef behind one of Europe's most famous restaurants, Noma, the Michelin-starred eatery that was named as the world's No. 1 restaurant four times, thanked Paul Bocuse for "a lifetime of work and inspiration."
Updated: 11 minutes ago
The Latest: Danish chef behind Noma thanks Bocuse

The Latest: Danish chef behind Noma thanks Bocuse

The Danish chef behind one of Europe's most famous restaurants, Noma, the Michelin-starred eatery that was named as the world's No. 1 restaurant four times, thanked Paul Bocuse for "a lifetime of work and inspiration."
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Turkish jets bombard Kurdish-run city of Afrin in Syria

Turkish jets bombard Kurdish-run city of Afrin in Syria

Turkish jets have bombed the Kurdish-controlled city of Afrin in northern Syria, as Turkey promised to expand its military border operations against a Kurdish group that has been the U.S.'s key Syria ally in the war on the Islamic State group
Updated: 11 minutes ago
The Latest: Danish chef behind Noma thanks Bocuse

The Latest: Danish chef behind Noma thanks Bocuse

The Danish chef behind one of Europe's most famous restaurants, Noma, the Michelin-starred eatery that was named as the world's No. 1 restaurant four times, thanked Paul Bocuse for "a lifetime of work and inspiration."
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE's 'Raw' marks 25 years

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE's 'Raw' marks 25 years

From its birth on Jan. 11, 1993, "Raw" set out to be a special kind of wrestling show, from the name, to the locale and the live action
Updated: 11 minutes ago