The Washington Post has an interesting story up about how the CIA is finding creative new ways to pay off informants in the War against Terrorism in Afghanistan. The problem is that giving them weapons often backfires, and giving them money often leads to displays of conspicuous consumption, which reveals to people that they are paid informants. So, what can you give them?
One solution is to give them Viagra. In a country where chieftains and warlords often have four wives (the maximum allowed by the Koran), this seems to be working like magic. As former CIA agent Jamie Smith says, the key is to find a way to meet the informant’s personal needs in a way that keeps him firmly on your side but leaves little or no visible trace.
Of course, there is a long history of spies using sex as a motivator. The Soviets were notorious for using attractive women as bait when seeking to turn foreign diplomats into informants. And the US has often paid informants with the promise of medical care for themselves or their loved ones. So it is no surprise that these two techniques would get combined.