US to open new intelligence training centre focusing on Af-Pak
Washington: The United States is planning to set-up a training centre at the Central Command to train military officials and secret agents to focus more on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to the Washington Times, CENTCOM chief General David Petraeus would open the intelligence organisation called the Centre for Afghanistan Pakistan Excellence later this week.
The organisation would be headed by Derek Harvey, a retired colonel in the Defence Intelligence Agency, and would focus on training military officers and covert agents and analysts.
When asked about the training centre, Harvey, who had become Petraeus’ most trusted man during the Iraq operation, said the organisation would be set-up on the experience and lessons learnt during the Iraq counterinsurgency operation.
Not only the counterinsurgency moves, but the information gained in terms of intelligence analysis would also be taken into account while establishing the training center, Harvey said.
He highlighted that the new centre would focus on integrating all sources of information to develop strategic products for both war fighters and decision makers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“We have tended to rely too much on intelligence sources and not integrating fully what is coming from provincial reconstruction teams, civil-affairs officers, commanders and operators on the ground that are interacting with the population and who understand the population and can actually communicate what is going on in the street,” Harvey said.
The training academy would also train future analysts, officers and covert operators in the local dialect such as Pashto and Dari languages and other culture courses.
When asked that whether the new training centre would mean a long term US presence in the region, Harvey said it was for the higher authorities to decide.
“Even if we downsize, we are still going to have investments in South Asia,” he added.
The organisation would be coordinating and sharing information between the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the (NATO) International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. However, the CIA has been kept away from the organization.
When asked as to why the CIA has deliberately been kept away, Harvey said: “The CIA had already detailed many analysts to support his new centre.”
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