Some CIA officers involved in the agency's drone strikes programme in Pakistan and elsewhere are privately expressing their opposition to the programme within the agency, because it is helping al Qaeda and its allies recruit, according to a retired military officer in contact with them.
"Some of the CIA operators are concerned that, because of its blowback effect, it is doing more harm than good," said Jeffrey Addicott, former legal adviser to U.S. Special Forces and director of the Centre for Terrorism Law at St Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, in an interview with IPS.
Addicott said the CIA operatives he knows have told him the drone strikes are being used effectively by al Qaeda and Taliban leaders to recruit more militants.
CIA officers "are very upset" with the drone strike policy, Addicott said. "They'll do what the boss says, but they view it as a harmful exercise."
"They say we're largely killing rank and file Pakistani Taliban, and they are the ones who are agitated by the campaign," he added.
Because the drone strikes kill innocent civilians and bystanders along with leaders from far away, they "infuriate the Muslim male", said Addicott, thus making them more willing to join the movement. The men in Pakistan's tribal region "view Americans as cowards and weasels", he added.