Douglas Laux is an ex-CIA operative who was assigned to some of the most dangerous warzones in the Global War on Terror and he’s the New York Times Best Selling Author of “Left Of Boom: How A Young CIA Case Officer Infiltrated The Taliban And Al-Qaeda.” Doug also created, wrote, produced, and starred in the Discovery Channel’s Finding Escobar’s Millions, and was part of the Bravo Channel series Spy Games. For the work he performed in penetrating terrorist organizations around the world, Doug has been recognized for his heroism and dedication to our country by Senator Sherrod Brown, as well as Congressmen Warren Davidson, Jim Banks, and Governor Ron DeSantis.
Upon arrival at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Doug Laux expected to be immersed in a Jason Bourne-style training program, however, his introduction to the world of covert operations was not filled with either action or intrigue, instead, he began his new career as a desk jockey doing admin support for Case Officers, sending reports, making copies of files and responding to diplomatic cables. What Doug wanted more than anything was to be thrust into the world of Black Ops, requesting (and in some instances demanding) that he be sent to Afghanistan, a place most Case Officers had no interest in visiting, let alone being deployed to as an undercover operative. Although his overtures to be sent to the front lines were initially rebuffed, Doug’s relentless pursuit to break the types of cases that made international headlines wore his superiors down and he was finally sent to “The Farm,” the CIA’s training center where recruits learn the art of clandestine operations.
Soon after graduating from the Field Training Course, Doug got his wish and was assigned to Afghanistan, and was enrolled in language school to learn Pashtu, after which he was sent to the most dangerous warzone on the planet. When Doug first arrived at the Wadi FOB (the base’s real name was redacted) in Afghanistan in 2010 he immediately noticed a massive strategic oversight, the Agency had a special branch dedicated to tracking Al Qaeda (AQ), even though there was only about 100 AQ in Afghanistan at that time, yet, astonishingly, there was no unit dedicated to keeping tabs on the Taliban, despite the fact that there were tens of thousands of them present and killing hundreds of Americans every year. Worse, when it came to developing intelligence, Agency Case Officers were more like journalists where, instead of developing precise intelligence on enemy activity, merely reported on attacks.
Without being given any initial targets or objectives, Doug quickly learned that there was an IED network operating in the area that was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers, and without being given any guidance or encouragement, decided he would make dismantling the Taliban’s explosives operation his primary mission. Doug immediately set out to aggressively recruit sources. He learned the country’s southern dialect to better understand the culture, grew a beard, dressed as an Afghan, and attended the village Shuras regularly. Before long, Doug had convinced the locals to start trading money for Intel, and with early successes piling up, he became more ambitious and started working to develop sources directly within the Taliban itself, including those in the command structure. Doug’s bold efforts led not only to the identification of “The Wolverine,” his code name for the head of the IED network in Afghanistan, but the infiltration of the explosive supplier’s organization as well by Taliban leaders who were on Doug’s payroll. It turned out that many Taliban commanders were willing to become informants and sell information to Doug and the CIA, not because they weren’t loyal to their objective of killing Americans and ejecting the US Military from Afghanistan, but because they lived a life that forced them into survival mode from the moment they were born, as such they saw no issue with taking money from the enemy and giving up their people, assets or information if it helped line their pockets, they were happy to murder Americans and take our dollars at the same time.
The Taliban was in many ways much like the Mafia, and some enterprising Taliban commanders realized that they could use their relationship with the CIA to get rid of their internal enemies and those they feuded with, all while getting paid to eliminate their competition … and Doug was only too happy to oblige.
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