The Beginning Of The End Of The Problems: Weah Officially Invited To CIA Headquarters In Virginia
The President of the Republic, George M. Weah, has been officially invited to the Headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Virginia, United States of America, during his next trip to the US, slated for March 2023.
On January 9, 2023, the Director of the CIA, William J. Burns, made a rare visit to the Republic of Liberia as a guest of President Weah and held a closed-door confidential meeting with the Liberian Leader.
Director Burns was escorted to the President by top security officials of the government, including the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), J. Henric Pearson, and the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean. After the meeting with the President, the CIA boss toured the new NSA headquarters, situated in White Plains, which was heavily sponsored by the CIA.
What was discussed in the meeting is classified, but the little information out of the gathering is that the President was officially invited to the CIA headquarters, and that Director Burns praised the workings of the security sector of Liberia, mainly the intelligence arm.
Burns is the most senior US government official to visit Liberia since the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) took over the helm of power in 2018.
President Weah is the first Liberian President to ever be officially invited to the CIA headquarters. His first official visit was by the US State Department to attend President Joseph Biden’s US-Africa Leaders Forum in December 2022.
Before the 14-year civil war, Liberia played host to the headquarters of United States intelligence in Africa, but was relocated to Dakar, Senegal, when the wars started. But from the recent trend of action, it seems like the United State is redirecting its security attention to its traditional friend.
Information is that President Joseph R. Biden will soon begin his tour to Africa, but may stop in Ghana and not reach to Liberia. Also, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, is expected to take a tour to Africa, but she, too, may stop in Ghana and not come to Liberia.
In December 2022 President Biden announced his intention to visit Africa in 2023 amidst rapid growth of China’s influence. President Biden did not say which African nations he plans to visit, nor when he would make the trip, but that the tour is geared toward strengthening ties in sub-Saharan Africa and regain trust amid growing influence from China and Russia in the region. The trip would make President Biden the first US President to take an official tour to Africa in many decades.
Ahead of his tour, the Director of CIA, Burns, is touching grounds in countries with close ties with the US, including Liberia. The CIA boss also made a rare visit to Libya—a country that has seen little peace since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 that caused the death of its longest serving ruler, Muammar Gaddafi.
The CIA is the first line of defense for the United States, with the responsibility to collect and analyze intelligence to further national security, preempt threats and conduct covert action.
Security pundits are terming the CIA Director’s visit to Liberia and the official invitation to the presidency as the beginning of the end of President Weah’s problems and a turning point in the nation’s body politics.
The recent Global Magnitsky sanction announced on certain officials of the Weah government ignited a perception that the administration had fallen out of grace with the US government, with critics wrapping up with the conclusion that the sanctions represent the US’ opinion that the regime should be booted out in 2023.
However, as God works in mysterious ways, so does Uncle Sam in uncertainty—the perception may not just be the reality.
Hot Pepper sources in the US are of the opinion that the invitation to the Agency is to inform President Weah of the terms and conditions for possible support for the 2023 general and presidential elections. They say if President Weah yields to the US terms, it could be the key to wheeling unprecedented international support during and after the 2023 elections.
Others are of the view that President Weah is being invited to bring the Agency up to speed with information relating to individuals who stand to pose threat to the peace and stability of the country. If the perception is anything to go by, then former warlords who constantly issue threats to the presidency risk arrest or exposure to the international intelligence community.