Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller sent Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Gina Haspel a letter that said he intended to suspend most of the military support he provides to CIA counterterrorism missions.
According to a DOD official, Miller’s letter asked the CIA to respond by Jan. 5.
The unprecedented decision would significantly affect the CIA’s functioning, which, despite acting independently, requires logistical support and personnel provided by the military, reported the ABC on Dec. 10.
Simultaneously, some officials have interpreted the change as a reassignment of anti-terrorist personnel to focus them against the Chinese regime and Russia, alluding to the National Defense Strategy.
“As a responsible actor, the department has sought to better align its resource allocation with the shift in the National Defense Strategy 2018, toward high-powered competition,” said Lt. Col. Uriah Orland, according to the ABC.
The CIA conducts counterterrorism operations in many parts of the world through the Special Activities Center, usually undercover and using its paramilitary force, although military supplies are essential.
Counterterrorism missions against al-Shabab, the affiliate of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, will continue in Somalia, Africa, as Reuters reported on Dec. 4.
“The United States will retain the capability to conduct targeted counterterrorism operations in Somalia, and collect early warnings and indicators regarding threats to the homeland,” according to a Pentagon statement.
President Trump had ordered the withdrawal of most of the 700 military personnel stationed in that country.
While the president had previously undertaken the withdrawal of part of the overseas military detachments, for some observers, this latest decision may be related to the recent replacement of the Secretary of Defense and other senior members.
Moreover, there is speculation that it may be in response to the eventual implementation of the Executive Order signed by Trump in 2018, which considers actions against possible foreign electoral interference, as contemplated by The Gateway Pundit.
On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago, the Pentagon’s liaison in the White House, Joshua Whitehouse, reported the departure of 11 advisors to the Defense Policy Board, including former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright.
“As part of long-considered changes, we can confirm that several members of the Department’s Defense Policy Board have been removed,” said one senior official according to Foreign Policy.
According to analysts quoted by The Washington Times, the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board advises and counsels on defense policy, but was characterized by former officials who tended to favor the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
It is striking that it is precisely the CCP, Russia, and Iran that are accused of electoral interference in the 2020 elections.
Lawyers of the Trump campaign, charged with defending electoral transparency, denounced those countries as involved in rigging Biden’s election.