MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

30 Years After Soviet Afghan Pull-Out – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 18, 2019

The famous Tora Bora underground fortification, located 35 miles southwest of the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, had also been “a CIA-financed complex built for the mujahedeen”, as The New York Times wrote in 2005. Osama Bin Laden father’s construction company, the Saudi Binladin Group, took substantial part in the endeavour, according to the newspaper.

Where Bin Laden brought the US to its knees with VCRs and cell phones.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/02/no_author/30-years-after-soviet-afghan-pull-out-cia-funded-mujahideen-war-backfired-on-us/

Sputnik News

30 Years After Soviet Afghan Pull-Out: CIA-Funded Mujahideen War Backfired on US

CIA’s Operation Cyclone

However, the USSR was not the only party wading into the Afghan conflict as the US took an active part in the covert war on the side of the Mujahideen.

In his memoir titled From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War ex-director of the CIA, Robert Gates, revealed the details of the US intelligence agency’s covert effort, dubbed Operation Cyclone. The secret operation envisaged arming and funding Afghan guerrillas began under then US President Jimmy Carter six months before the Soviet intervention. This was confirmed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, a prominent geopolitical analyst and then national security adviser to Carter in a 15 January 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur’s Vincent Jauvert.

Time Magazine recalled in 2003 that Operation Cyclone had become “one of its longest and most expensive” covert efforts: The US supplied billions of dollars in arms to the Mujahideen with Osama bin Laden, the would-be founder of al-Qaeda*, being one of the rebel recipients, according to the magazine.

How the Reagan Adm. Boosted the Mujahideen’s Military Capability

According to a 1988 New York Times’ report, under Carter the Mujahideen were supplied with Soviet-made light arms. Between 1981 and 1985 the US delivered a vast variety of weapons to the Islamic guerrillas, including bazookas, mortars, grenade launchers, mines and recoilless rifles, Swiss-made 20-millimetre antiaircraft guns and 107-millimetre multiple rocket launchers produced in China. In March 1986 President Reagan approved the delivery of the deadly Stingers, man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS), to the Afghan insurgents in a bid to expel Soviet troops out of Afghanistan ”by all means available”.

Apart from weapons, beginning in 1985, the US supplied the Mujahideen with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets, plans for military operations based on satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for C-4 plastic explosives, long-range sniper rifles, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment, The Washington Post pointed out in 1992 citing intelligence sources.

Simultaneously, the US enlisted the support of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) that conducted day-to-day operations and maintained direct contact with the Mujahideen on the ground.

The famous Tora Bora underground fortification, located 35 miles southwest of the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, had also been “a CIA-financed complex built for the mujahedeen”, as The New York Times wrote in 2005. Osama Bin Laden father’s construction company, the Saudi Binladin Group, took substantial part in the endeavour, according to the newspaper.

The article noted that the complex consisted of “miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls”. The fortress was later used by Bin Laden and then by Daesh (ISIS/ISIL)*. In 2017 the Nangarhar cave complex was struck by the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, commonly known as the “mother of all bombs”, on orders from US President Donald Trump.

‘US Opened the Way to Islamic Radicalisation, Birth of Al-Qaeda*’

Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, a Pakistani civilian military observer, geo-strategist and political analyst, drew parallels between the Soviet campaign and the US war in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence agency] which is military intelligence and the CIA had presented the idea to the general public that the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan with the intention to further invading Pakistan to reach warm waters, and people have realised that this was much of a lie”, Siddiqa said.

According to the professor, several decades later Washington fell into the very same trap. “The US is as stuck in the war as the Soviet Union was”, she emphasised, stressing that the Taliban forces came out of the first generation of Mujahideen who fought against the USSR and its allied government in Kabul.

For his part, Rahimullah Yusufzai, a political and security analyst and expert on the Taliban*, opined that the Soviet campaign was not as bloody as the one led by the US: “There are more civilian casualties due to the US invasion”, he underscored.

Imtiaz Gul, the executive director of the Pakistani Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), noted that the US “opened the way to Islamic militants here, radicalisation within the Islamic societies because they primarily used Islamic or the religious [leverage] to motivate fighters against the Soviet Union and Afghan [government] forces”.

According to him, “this was basically the beginning of the radical Islamist militancy, which also then [gave] birth to organisations like al-Qaeda*”...

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