CIA Chief unveils changing strategy against Afghan Taliban
*WASHINGTON- Officials from the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and US Finance Department have said that the Taliban’s financial resources must be cut off as the group is using income from drug smuggling to impose pain and suffering in the world.*
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said at an event at the American Enterprise Institute that the war on terror is one of the US’s top priorities this year.
“I will list the Taliban as well who uses drug revenue to foment so much pain on the world,” Pompeo said. “We have bolstered our capacity. There are collection capacity. We have done that jointly with Treasury Department, with Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin and his team, working together to take the trade craft that we have historically used against networks that look very much like financial networks and apply them against those very same networks.”
The CIA director meanwhile said al-Qaeda is still a threat, but he said Washington is committed to fighting the network and other terrorist groups.
“We have an obligation to do everything we can to operate in a way that engenders the American people’s trust so that those powers and authorities remain in place. If we don’t, if we behave in ways that are lawless, if we behave in ways that you might see in the movies, then the American people would rightfully take those powers, that authority, that capacity away from us, that would be unforgivable for agent to find in that place. What we do is simply too important,” he stated.
At the same event, Rose Gottemoeller, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, said they will not let Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists once again.
“Our experience in Afghanistan has taught us that training local forces is one of our best weapons in the fight against terrorism. That is a challenge that affects us all. And if we are training local forces, then they begin to provide for their own security and they begin to take up the fight against terrorism. Thus, we are adding 3,000 more trainers to our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan,” she said. “We are there to train, advise and assist the Afghans so that they can best provide for their own security and to prevent that country from ever again becoming a safe haven for terrorists.”
The CIA director’s remarks came shortly before reports emerged of the death of Nasir Mahmoud, known as Ehsan Khawari, a Haqqani network leader’s death in a US drone strike in North Waziristan in Pakistan.
The drone strike was conducted in Spin Atal area along the border between Kurram Agency and Orakzai Agency on Wednesday morning.
The remarks also came shortly after the Taliban announced a group of its members met with Pakistani officials in Islamabad recently to discuss ways to end the crisis in Afghanistan. The claim was made in a statement issued by the Taliban.