In a historic move, the Pentagon has told the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) that is preparing to stop all support to its counterterrorism missions worldwide which rely on military for logistical support and personnel.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller sent a letter to CIA Director Gina Haspel outlining the decision, according to a former senior administration intelligence official, who characterized the action as both surprising and unprecedented.
The CIA’s Special Activities Center carries out covert operations and has its own paramilitary force that carries out counterterrorism operations. While they act as an independent force, they often rely on the military for transportation and logistical support.
Sometimes that means that military personnel end up being detailed to support the CIA’s counterterrorism operations.
The review is the pet project of Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Ezra Cohen-Watnick, one of several top-level political appointees assigned to acting roles in the Pentagon, seen as one of the Trump loyalists, reported Defense One.
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The Pentagon also routinely lends special operations forces to the agency’s Special Activities Center to be used in clandestine or covert operations that the United States doesn’t want to publicly claim.
The military detailees officially come under CIA authority, and become “a permanent houseguest,” the former administration official said. The division provides support to both CIA and Defense Department operations, often working alongside local partner forces in places like Afghanistan.
“If these stories are true, they mark a serious setback to a very strong and effective relationship between the CIA and the Defense Department,” said Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, retired CIA paramilitary officer and ABC News contributor.
Recently, the Trump Administration also fired Defense Chief Mark Esper who was tasked by the military industrial complex to deploy new ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles and NATO troops in India and elsewhere in Asia.