CIA Spy: We're Losing Terror War

A new book by a ranking CIA officer is criticizing U.S. strategy in the war on terror and making some dire predictions. The book, "Imperial Hubris," offers a spy's eye view of the war on terror - and it is a stark picture.

CBS National Security Correspondent David Martin spoke with the author, who insisted his identity be kept secret. He asked the CIA officer whether the U.S. is winning or losing the war on terror.

"I have to say we're losing ground," said the author.

The author is not just another armchair analyst, he is a serving CIA officer who has spent two decades working in the agency's counter terrorism center and once headed the unit assigned to track Osama bin Laden. He says he's certain bin Laden will make good on his threats to carry out more attacks inside the U.S.

"I'm certain he's going to attack again because he said so, and because I think we have not done the damage many people believe we have to his organization," said the author.

Martin: "You also say you're certain it's going to be a more devastating attack than 9/11."

Author: "Yes, sir. He certainly will attempt that. He has a very clear record again based on open source material of incrementally more powerful attacks."

It's rare for a serving CIA officer to break ranks and go public. He reveals no secrets - the CIA censors made sure of that - but he exposes what he says is a self-defeating strategy which is only playing into bin Laden's hands.

He calls the war in Afghanistan an unfolding nightmare.

"We're faced with a long term insurgency there and at some point, as I write in the book, we're going to have to decide to leave the country or greatly augment the size of the forces we have there."

He also says the invasion and occupation of Iraq has only made it easier for bin Laden to recruit more followers who see the U.S. as an aggressive, infidel power.

"If Osama was a Christian, it was the Christmas present no one ever expected to get," says the author of the Iraq invasion.

According to the author, the anti-American movements are growing - not just in Iraq and Afghanistan - but throughout much of the Muslim world.

The book, which is set to hit the bookstores this August, is being published by Brassey's, Inc., a Dulles, Va., company which has published numerous books by former CIA agents and other volumes with CIA themes, including The World Factbook, the CIA-authored and annually published geopolitical guide to the world.

  • David Hancock

    David Hancock is a home page editor for CBSNews.com.

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