US Intelligence Collection 'Improves,' More Spies Needed to Fight Daesh

© AFP 2022 / Brendan SMIALOWSKIDavid Cohen, US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, speaks during a daily press briefing at the White House on October 23, 2014 in Washington, DC
David Cohen, US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, speaks during a daily press briefing at the White House on October 23, 2014 in Washington, DC - Sputnik International
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According to CIA Deputy Director David Cohen, the US needs to recruit additional spies to compensate for the lack of US ground troops in Syria.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is gaining better intelligence on the terrorist group Daesh, also known as the Islamic State (IS), but needs to recruit additional spies using basic espionage tradecraft to compensate for the lack of US ground troops in Syria, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Deputy Director David Cohen said told a news outlet on Monday.

"Collecting intel in a war zone where we have no or very few troops," is a challenge, Cohen told WTOP news radio. "So the objective becomes classic, tradecraft training of trusted agents that have access to the area and information."

Cohen added that human intelligence already "is getting better as ISIL [Daesh] gets ever more paranoid and shrinks into a defensive crouch."

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"Their claim to be a state that’s run openly means they are vulnerable to traditional espionage. They can’t be a clandestine caliphate, and so a lot of their stuff is open to collection," he explained in the interview with Washington, DC’s leading radio news outlet.

Cohen also discussed the complex security environment confronting Washington, apart from the air campaign against Daesh and the group’s push to launch terrorist attacks in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

"One of the realities of the time we live in is that it’s a very complex world and there are a number of urgent challenges," Cohen stated.

The CIA Deputy Director also listed additional threats to US interests and its allies, including Russia’s continuing involvement in Ukraine, Chinese militarization of the South China Sea and North Korea’s development of missiles and nuclear weapons.

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