The commander of US Special Operations forces, Admiral William McRaven has commented that the Special Operations forces will be the last to leave Afghanistan. These developments are part of President Obama’s revised defense strategy that relies more on spies and Special Operations forces to protect the US interests.
According to The Washington Post, CIA is expected to maintain a large covert presence in Iraq and Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of conventional US troops. The report adds that the intelligence organization has adopted three methods of traditional espionage in Iran: monitoring developments in the new government setup, suppressing al-Qaeda’s affiliates, and countering Iran’s influence.
On the other hand, the operational role in Afghanistan will be more aggressive and its paramilitary capabilities are considered important. The goal will be to keep the Taliban from consolidating and protecting the government in Kabul. Moreover, to maintain access to the Afghan airstrips used to launch drone strikes in Pakistan and to hunt down al-Qaeda remnants. Report indicates that CIA has financed and created the Afghan intelligence service and the organization maintains a number of bases along the border with Pakistan.