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Last week, the CIA informed Congress of their plans to draw down their footprint in Afghanistan.
The CIA has been using words like "has to" and "must" about this. Ten thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan can not hold small forward operating bases, where CIA runs secret Afghan paramilitary armies, in the same way that one hundred thousand U.S. troops can.
CIA officials told lawmakers this past week that with U.S. troops slowly closing bases across the country, the intelligence agency’s footprint also has to shrink.
And yesterday, John Boehner had an opinion article at CNN, about how we still need to stay in Afghanistan so that we may later leave Afghanistan. This is what he calls a clear understandable plan.
And today, unknown legislators of an unknown party are said to be in a snit, about the Administration plan to leave Afghanistan by staying in Afghanistan, for the amount of the staying after the leaving not being enough.
Senior U.S. officials said the slow dismantling of the CIA’s forces has also alarmed U.S. lawmakers, who had assumed those forces would remain in the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban after U.S. troops withdrew.
This all means that the presence of the Afghan paramilitary armies that the CIA runs in Afghanistan are showing up as a matter of political debate in the newspapers. This has happened a couple of times before, when things have gone especially awry. But across twelve years of war, it has been pretty rare.