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C.I.A. to Focus More on Spying, a Difficult Shift - NYTimes.com


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But under a new plan outlined by the Obama administration on Thursday, the Counterterrorism Center over time would cease to be the hub of America’s targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where presidents might choose to wage war in the future. Already, the C.I.A.’s director, John O. Brennan, has passed over Mike, an undercover officer whose full name is being withheld, for a promotion to run the agency’s clandestine service.

It is a sign that Mr. Brennan is trying to shift the C.I.A.’s focus back toward traditional spying and strategic analysis, but that is not an easy task.

Arguably, no agency has changed more in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks than the C.I.A., and no agency could be affected more by the new direction of the secret wars laid out by American officials on Thursday.

More than half of the C.I.A.’s work force joined the agency after 2001, and many of those new officers have spent the years since almost exclusively on the work of man-hunting and killing.

This agenda shift feels important and necessary.

We are finally moving to more morally sound policies.

The last dozen years really feel like a low point for our country.

I hope we continue to pull away from such bad policy. 

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