Soviet Army soldiers wave as their last detachment crosses a bridge on the border between Afghanistan and then Soviet Uzbekistan near the Uzbek town of Termez in this Feb. 15, 1989, file photo, as they leave Afghanistan after waging a 10-year war.
"The Wars of Afghanistan"
Review of The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers by Peter Tomsen
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Foreign Policy
September 15, 2011
Author: Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security
Don't Shoot the Mailman
"There are three ways to get into Afghanistan: through Russia, through Iran, and through Pakistan. You take your choice."
These timeless words were uttered to me by my friend, Frank Anderson, then (1991-1994) chief of the Near East and South Asia Division of the Directorate of Operations of the CIA (the division that ran covert operations in Afghanistan during the Soviet War there) and one of my successors in the position. His observation was not only his way of saying that this was the preferred (and only) route for massive shipments of arms to the Afghan mujahideen in their resistance against the Soviets in the 1980's. It also spoke of another verity: that Pakistan and its own intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), held the high ground in this covert action operation -- the CIA was only a mailman.
A number of U.S. lawmakers, otherwise quite effective in helping provide additional funding for this operation, were often unsympathetic to the idea of relying on Pakistan as the sole channel for arms. Some thought of the manifestly impractical option of air drops. Others, including some policymakers, thought that U.S. officials, especially in the CIA, failed to put enough pressure on the Pakistanis to compel them to send more arms to the "moderate" mujahideen and not to more hardline, fundamentalist commanders. I will come back to this later....
Continue reading: http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/09/15/the_wars_of_afghanistan
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