Doug Laux, a steelworker's son from Indiana who speaks Pashto, ran a network of spies in Afghanistan during part of his eight-year post as a CIA operative, an experience he chronicles in a memoir to be published Tuesday.
"Left of Boom" is the first inside account by a front-line CIA counter-terrorism operator of the post 9/11 generation. Laux's story sheds new light on the debate over the Obama administration's Syria policy and offers new insights into how the CIA goes about the business of war zone espionage, according to NBC News.
"Fear runs deep through the agency and inhabits every fiber of its soul," he writes. At the same time, he credits the CIA with giving him the time and resources to thwart a Taliban bombing network that was killing American troops.
The CIA, which reviewed and censored Laux's book, declined to comment, but a former senior intelligence official cautioned that field operatives like Laux rarely see the big picture. Laux's first-ever television interview will air Saturday on "NBC Nightly News."