While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.I’m impressed with the innovative thinking exhibited by the CIA. Maybe instead of an insurgency, we can just flood the entire country with the little blue pill. We’ll have a male population so happy and contented, they’ll be happy to end the war. As an American taxpayer, I’d much rather send Afghanistan a permanent supply of libido-enhancements than send American soldiers and weapons. I like this idea. It will cost much less in military as well as lives and destruction. Everyone’s a winner.
In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, the officials say, the agency's operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos, the officials said. [snip]
The usual bribes of choice -- cash and weapons -- aren't always the best options, Afghanistan veterans say. Guns too often fall into the wrong hands, they say, and showy gifts such as money, jewelry and cars tend to draw unwanted attention.
"If you give an asset $1,000, he'll go out and buy the shiniest junk he can find, and it will be apparent that he has suddenly come into a lot of money from someone. Even if he doesn't get killed, he becomes ineffective as an informant because everyone knows where he got it."
I’m only half joking about that idea.