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Former CIA Officer: Treat Domestic Extremism As An Insurgency

Robert Grenier oversaw CIA's counterterrorism operations from 2004 to 2006. He argues that counterinsurgency tactics used overseas are needed to fight extremists such as those who stormed the Capitol.
Robert Grenier says domestic extremists should be treated as an insurgency. Source: Jon Cherry

When it comes to domestic extremists such as those who stormed the Capitol, a longtime CIA officer argues that the U.S. should treat them as an insurgency.

That means using counterinsurgency tactics — similar in some ways to those used in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Robert Grenier served as the CIA's station chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2001. He went on to become the CIA's Iraq mission manager and then director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center from 2004 to 2006.

"We may be witnessing the dawn of a sustained wave of violent insurgency within last week. And without national action, he argues, "extremists who seek a social apocalypse ... are capable of producing endemic political violence of a sort not seen in this country since Reconstruction."

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