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Former CIA Officer Weighs In on Afghan Strategy

BY Dan Sagalyn  October 26, 2009 at 12:30 PM EST

As the Obama administration considers changes to its Afghan war strategy, former CIA operative Marc Sageman discusses working in Afghanistan and what the new strategy should entail.

Sageman said the U.S. focus on Afghanistan is due to al-Qaida’s attacks on the United States and its harboring of people involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, not trade or other strategic interests.

“Our only purpose for our stay in Afghanistan is really to prevent potential transnational threat to the U.S. homeland,” and now that threat is no longer in Afghanistan, he said.

More Afghan conversations:

Rory Stewart, author who spent two years walking across Afghanistan

Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer and author

Ashraf Ghani, former Afghan finance minister and presidential candidate