An update on developments in Pakistan. From the Associated Press:
Pakistan's intelligence ready to split with CIA - Yahoo! NewsPakistan's ISI spy agency is ready to split with the CIA because of frustration over what it calls heavy-handed pressure and its anger over what it believes is a covert U.S. operation involving hundreds of contract spies, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press and interviews with U.S. and Pakistani officials.
Such a move could seriously damage the U.S war effort in Afghanistan, limit a program targeting al-Qaida insurgents along the Pakistan frontier, and restrict Washington's access to information in the nuclear-armed country.
Even with additional passage of time, I'll note that Mr. Davis' status remains ambiguous (whether or not he actually has diplomatic status), but if he has it, Pakistan should honor its obligations.
But the larger issue that now seems to be coming to light (assuming the article is correct) is that the U.S. has been contracting out Intelligence activities. IMO, that is a bad approach. First, trained Intelligence professionals not amateurs (a security and/or special forces background, specialized as some of the training might be, is not synonymous with an Intelligence background developed through rigorous CIA training that is focused on Intelligence) should be dealing with sensitive information/sensitive contacts. Use of amateurs to substitute for human intelligence deficiencies (lack of manpower) or to try to bolster the capability on the "cheap" is reckless. Second, lack of control in such a situation can threaten intelligence contacts and assets. Third, such a situation can destroy trust, and trust is paramount to intelligence cooperation, especially when high risks are involved.