US offers Viagra to win Afghan warlords: report

CIA officers started employing unusual incentives


CIA agents are offering the potency drug Viagra and other gifts to win over Afghan warlords in the U.S.-led war against Taliban insurgents, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Paying for information is nothing new for the Central Intelligence Agency, but officers have started employing unusual incentives to persuade Afghan local leaders to share intelligence about the Taliban's movements, the Post wrote, citing unnamed sources in the spy service.

"Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people -- whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra," one CIA operative who has worked in Afghanistan was quoted as saying.

CIA agents have offered pocket knives and tools, toys and school equipment, travel visas, medical services including surgeries and sometimes the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra for Afghan chieftains, the paper said.

The aging chieftains often have up to four wives and are open to the Viagra pill as a way to "put them back in an authoritative position," said another official.

More customary bribes such as cash and weapons can create problems, because guns fan fall into the wrong hands and a sudden influx of cash can draw too much attention, agents told the paper.

Four Viagra pills transformed the attitude of one influential 60-year-old warlord who had been wary of the United States.

"He came up to us beaming," one official told the Post.

"And after that we could do whatever we wanted in his area."