May 14, 2021

Spy Agencies Seek New Afghan Allies as U.S. Withdraws

Featuring Lisa Curtis

Journalists Julian E. Barnes, Thomas Gibbons-Neff

KABUL, Afghanistan — Western spy agencies are evaluating and courting regional leaders outside the Afghan government who might be able to provide intelligence about terrorist threats long after U.S. forces withdraw, according to current and former American, European and Afghan officials.

The effort represents a turning point in the war. In place of one of the largest multinational military training missions ever is now a hunt for informants and intelligence assets. Despite the diplomats who say the Afghan government and its security forces will be able to stand on their own, the move signals that Western intelligence agencies are preparing for the possible — or even likely — collapse of the central government and an inevitable return to civil war.

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.

Authors

  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She is a foreign policy and national securit...