For decades, C.I.A. station chiefs in embassies around the globe have been the senior American intelligence officers in each country, charged with running clandestine operations and meeting regularly with the heads of foreign spy services.
Current and former C.I.A. officials argued that the matter is not just about bureaucratic turf. They said that the C.I.A. for years has cultivated relationships with foreign spy services — relationships that could be thrown into confusion if foreign spymasters were forced to deal with different American liaisons.
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