The CIA is Returning its Central Focus to Nation-State Rivals, Director Says by Shane Harris – Washington Post
The Central Intelligence Agency is rededicating itself to the kinds of missions that defined the agency for most of its seven-decade existence, focusing on foreign nations that challenge or threaten the United States, its director said here Monday.
In her first public remarks since being confirmed in May, Gina Haspel laid out her plan to return the agency to the work that was at the heart of its espionage mission before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which transformed the CIA into a paramilitary organization that conducted lethal operations against terrorists around the word.
Haspel’s remarks amounted to public affirmation of a transformation that has been underway for the past few years as the CIA attempts to shift from a consuming focus on terrorism.
Counterterrorism has not only absorbed much of the agency’s attention over the past 17 years but mired it in controversies over detention and interrogation. That history dogged Haspel during her confirmation process as senators and others focused on her role in the torture and brutal treatment of detainees…