When an aging Afghan chieftain is having a hard time keeping up with his four young brides, the CIA is there to help.
"Take one of these," an officer told a prospective informant as he passed over four Viagra tablets. "You'll love it,"
Four days later, the tribal chief was singing like a canary about Taliban movements and supply routes. And asking for more of the little blue pills.
"He came up to us beaming," the official said. "He said, 'You are a great man.' And after that we could do whatever we wanted in his area."
How is it that a simple performance enhancing drug has become so valuable to the military's efforts abroad?
"If you give an asset $1,000, he'll go out and buy the shiniest junk he can find, and it will be apparent that he has suddenly come into a lot of money from someone," Jamie Smith, a veteran of CIA operations in Afghanistan and now chief executive of the private security and intelligence firm SCG International, told the Washington Post. "Even if he doesn't get killed, he becomes ineffective as an informant because everyone knows where he got it."
"The KGB has always used 'honey traps,' and it works," Baer said.