When World War II ended, a new race started. The allies who had defeated Hitler were competing against each other for intelligence.
This is why a secret U.S. program recruited Nazis to work for the U.S. government.
In 1945, the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was tasked with identifying German doctors, engineers, and scientists that were considered intellectually important.
But, the U.S. wasn’t alone. Britain and the Soviet Union wanted to track down German science experts as well.
This launched Operation Paperclip: The U.S. hunt for the scientists behind the Nazi’s most dangerous weapons.
Before approving the program, President Truman was indecisive.
He only approved of Operation Paperclip because of the Soviet Union’s efforts to get Nazi scientists back to Russia.
The race was on, so Truman said the program had to be done.
After the Normandy landings, Allied troops included units made up of scientific intelligence officers.
These soldiers were tasked with finding Hitler’s atomic, and biological weapons.
The military units found that Hitler’s atomic weapons program was not as advanced as feared, but his biological weapons were.
By the end of 1945, German scientists began arriving in the U.S. Many of them were prominent Germans who worked for Hitler.
One of the men was Wernher von Braun, a rocket engineer.
He played a major role in developing the first U.S. ballistic missile. He later served as director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
In all, over 1,600 German doctors, scientists, and engineers were brought to the U.S.
Operation Paperclip was a necessary evil to keep them from the Russians.
It showed the challenges of intelligence gathering after the war.
Now, World War II and the Afghan war are not alike.
But, they both created problems for intelligence gathering for the U.S. government.
Which is why our withdrawal and the Taliban takeover will hurt intelligence-gathering operations.
In fact, here are the top ways intel gathering in the Middle East will be affected by the fall of Afghanistan.
Losing more people:
With no military presence in the country, spies on the ground will have fewer escape options.
If their cover is blown or they need immediate military force, there is no one close to help.
Also, one of the most important assets to gathering intelligence is having an embassy.
But the U.S. no longer has an embassy in Afghanistan to help with intel gathering.
Working for the CIA is always dangerous.
These men and women are working right under the nose of their enemy. And getting out of a dangerous situation just got a lot harder.
There are fewer safe places in the country and they won’t have any privacy.
Outsiders will be watched liked never before. Plus, if things go bad there is no cavalry to rescue them.
Technical intelligence collection:
Humans aren’t the only way to gather intelligence. Technical collection such as listening devices, and satellites play a big role.
But, to be successful in technical intel, you need humans on the ground to point you in the right direction.
If you don’t have good human intelligence then you won’t have successful technical intel.
In other words, intel coming from the Middle East may not be as reliable as it once was.
Recently, General Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command said:
“My knowledge of what’s going on in Afghanistan is not nearly what it was 180 days ago.”
Taking away from China and Russia:
In recent years, the U.S. has been shifting more intel resources to China and Russia, because these two nations pose the biggest threats to the U.S.
But now, CIA leaders may need to rethink where they put their assets.
They will need to go back to the Middle East and recreate all the work that has been a loss.
Terrorists in the Middle East will be operating in overdrive and more intelligence operations will be needed to stop these threats.
This doesn’t mean the U.S. will abandon operations in Russia or China.
But, after the Taliban captured Bagram Air Base, they released between 5,000 and 7,000 prisoners.
This included ISIS and al Qaeda operatives. A lot of terrorists are now back to work.
There is no such thing as a denied area for the CIA. They will go and operate where they are needed.
The problem is they no longer control the battlefield.
This is why the CIA will have to come up with a new game plan to keep America safe.
The clock is ticking…
Thousands of terrorists are loose…
And they’ve got a thirst for revenge on the U.S.