WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wants to expand its authority to use covert drone strikes in Afghanistan and other war zones even though the US military has expressed concerns, media reported on Friday citing intelligence and military officials.
The White House seems to favor the push despite some concerns from the US Defense Department, the New York Times said. The CIA currently has the authority to carry out covert drone strikes against al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations across the border in Pakistan. If US President Trump approves the measure, it would mark the first time the CIA has such powers in Afghanistan as well, according to the report.
The Defense Department is in charge of conducting airstrikes against militants in the Middle East. The military publicly acknowledges its airstrikes, unlike the CIA , which carried out covert drone strikes in Pakistan for roughly a decade without either country's public acknowledgment, the report claimed.
The move comes as a part of a broader push in the Trump's White House to expand CIA 's authority in the conflict zones, according to current and former officials cited by The New York Times.