CIA 'paying secret army to kill Taliban'
THE US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is running and paying for a secret 3,000-strong army of Afghan paramilitaries whose main aim is assassinating Taliban and al-Qa'ida operatives not just in Afghanistan but across the border in neighbouring Pakistan's tribal areas, according to Bob Woodward's explosive book.
Although the CIA has long been known to run clandestine militias in Afghanistan, including one from a base it rents from the Afghan president Hamid Karzai's half-brother in the southern province of Kandahar, the sheer number of militiamen directly under its control have never been publicly revealed.
Woodward's book, 'Obama's Wars', describes these forces as elite, well-trained units that conduct highly sensitive covert operations into Pakistan as part of a stepped-up campaign against al-Qa'ida and Afghan Taliban havens there.
The book also claims that Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, takes medication to counter manic depression. Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador in Kabul, is quoted as saying: "He's on his meds, he's off his meds."(© Independent News Service)