ghost wars: steve coll

its our fault.  the “situation” in pakistan and afghanistan is our fault.  it is the result of our short-sighted desire to eliminate communism from the face of the planet in the 1970s and 80s.  secretly, via the CIA, the united states provided weapons and massive amounts of money to rebel leaders in order to halt the soviet union’s progress into central asia.  instead of getting personally involved, we siphened money and weapons through the pakistani intelligence agency, ISI.  but ISI wasn’t always trustworthy.

the defeat of the soviet union in afghanistan was a major accomplishment for the united states’ CIA.  when the battle was over, the united states largely ignored afghanistan.  since their involvement had been secret anyway, they felt no obligation to help establish a stable government in the region.

at the same time, the taliban was taking control of areas and osama bin laden had moved into southern afghanistan.  using united states provided weapons, osama bin laden began planning attacks on united states targets, killing innocent people.  however, despite knowledge of his whereabouts, the united states government was unable to act on that knowledge to stop him.

its interesting to reflect upon these factors given today’s political unrest in central asia.  how much of the money the u.s. laundered through pakistan has gone towards their development of nuclear weapons?  how could we have acted differently in order to repair the broken country of afghanistan?  is it all our fault?


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