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Wednesday
Sep222010

U.S. Official Confirms CIA's 3,000-Man Army in Afghanistan

Courtesy ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Newspaper stories advancing Bob Woodward’s latest book, “Obama’s Wars,” have focused on the administration’s internal battles in the lead-up to last year’s strategy for Afghanistan.  But one of the more explosive claims in the book is that the CIA maintains a paramilitary army of 3,000 local Afghans, known as Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams (CTPTs), that targets al Qaeda and the Taliban operatives in the border region with Pakistan.

A U.S. official confirms to ABC News the existence of the previously undisclosed CTPT force saying, "This is one of the best Afghan fighting forces and it's made major contributions to stability and security."

The Washington Post says Woodward characterizes this previously undisclosed Afghan force as “elite, well-trained units that conduct highly sensitive covert operations into Pakistan as part of a stepped-up campaign against al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban havens there.”  The New York Times advancer of the book says the “covert army” captures and kills Taliban fighters and seeks support in tribal areas.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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