If History could be written as ‘What if…?’ this point hits the nail on the head. While hosting Hekmatyar and his allies at the White House in 1985 then-President Ronald Reagan referred to his guests as “the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” Throughout the 1980s the CIA official in large part tasked to assist the Mujahideen with funds, arms and training was Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. (First defense chief to straddle Republican and Democratic presidencies, Gates lent Obama greater credibility in Congress on issues of U.S. security. That was no small task given Obama's inexperience in military affairs and opposition to the Iraq war).
History is very clear and should not be rewritten. Karma is a bitch if you sow something you reap. US/Pak sowing of militancy is now in full circle haunting the two parties. With hindsight a Soviet influenced Afghanistan for next 5 decades after invasion would have helped Afghanistan mature and become less medieval, but 'green standard/ Black turbans' of Political Islam was most unfortunately considered as a counterweight to bring the Red Soviet down. Also Taliban were considered as puppets of Saudis hence a counterweight against emerging Khomeinite version of Shiite Islam. Peace dividend as a result of US backed incursion and subsequent implosion of Soviet Union was a coup-d'état for USA that was achieved cheaply.
Those who brought USSR down should not have been left orphaned in a sign of desperate expediency. 911 was not planned in vacuum. Iraq - Afghan war was a result of political expediency and desertion by key allies. Result: a trillion dollars and thousands of American soldiers died because of this short-sightedness. The peace dividend, as a result of the collapse of USSR, should have been shared with these fighters who were only renowned for fighting and nothing else. As to who is responsible for the thirty-year disaster that is Afghanistan, McChrystal’s assessment contains a sentence that may get past most readers. It is this:
“The major insurgent groups in order of their threat to the mission are: the Quetta Shura Taliban (05T), the Haqqani Network (HQN), and the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HiG).” The last-named is the guerrilla force of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the largest recipient of hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of U.S. dollars provided by the CIA to the Peshawar Seven Mujahideen bloc fighting the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan from 1978-1992.
1. How USSR was forced to come in:
The full story of the productive U.S.-China cooperation directed against the Soviet Union (especially in regard to Afghanistan), initiated by the Carter Administration and continued under Reagan, still remains to be told. Brzezinski, known for his hard-line policies on the Soviet Union, initiated a campaign supporting mujaheddin in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which were run by Pakistani security services with financial support from the CIA and Britain's MI6. This policy had the explicit aim of promoting radical Islamist and anti-Communist forces to overthrow the secular communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) government in Afghanistan, which had been destabilized by coup attempts against Hafizullah Amin, the power struggle within the Soviet-supported parcham faction of the PDPA and a subsequent Soviet military intervention.
2. How post-USSR invasion, the marriage of Green standard and black turbans with global Wahabbism was solemnised by Brzezinski 'The Holy Jihad:'
Raj-induced freedom in today’s ‘dread swarming’ world is an anomaly for security forces. As far as these areas and people were landlocked and introvert, they remained little threat to peace and sanctity. With Soviet aggression came the concept of holy Jihad; with Jihad came the green turbaned thousands of holy warriors who spoke the language of the Prophet, the interaction of Wahabbi Saudis with medieval Pushtuns who were genetically tribal, and strong Wahabbi gave rise to new mutation.
‘Waziristan’ even under ‘The Raj’ was a free land; there were 150 treaties that gave this area complete autonomy and literally no control of the federal government. What is now Pakistan is the land that contained the invasion routes to India. Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass are not creations of Taliban or ISI, neither was Mongol Tamerlane or Nadir Shah, Ghauri or Ghaznavi. North of the sub-continent was the lawless land for millennia and remains so as of today. The heavy weight of violent North West Frontier Province of India by that 1947 partition was bequeathed to a state which was young and created on the concept of a homeland of Islam. It is tainted with blood since her violent partitioned birth. What changed in 1977 was that these landlocked warriors whose forays never extended beyond north of India were put in bed with the most radical elements of the Wahabi Islam. The combination of young bin Ladens with zais and Pushtoons in thousands, in their eagerness to bring USSR down, brought about new dynamics of global Jihad. Once this huge apparatus of green turbaned radical Arabs and radical warriors of the Northwest were freed from Russians, they made plans to free the house of Islam from the usurpers.
What Pakistan faces today is a new mutated form of threat; an intelligent bomb that is ideologically motivated, ready to die for the reward of “houries”, but technology has provided the connectivity and apparatus that makes killing a rather simple operation. The crime of taking life under new fatwas of eliminating ‘debauchery’ on earth has led to absolutely new threats, and to counter them, nations like Pakistan are torn between their ideological creation and desire to move on to the modern world.
Pakistan sits at the apex of the Crescent of Instability. It is situated at the confluence of 2.5 billion people and shares borders with Iran, China, Russia (CIS) and of course India. A stable Pakistan is a must for the north of the Indian sub-continent and with introduction of global jihadists and radical elements, its stability is equally important for the House of Saud. Newsweek in its latest article asserts, ‘Pakistani leaders created the Islamist monster that now operates with near impunity throughout the country. Militant Islamist groups that were originally recruited, trained and armed by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) have since become Islamabad's deadliest enemies.’
Zbigniew Brzezinski unexpectedly showed up at the Khyber Pass with the TV cameras clicking away, aimed the weapon at Afghanistan! The point had been made; he turned the gun back to the Pakistani border guard!! The seeds of disaster were planted nicely and safely. Let’s get to the real facts and see who created the loathed ISI in the first place, an organ so detested. One does not need to go too far from the confession statements. In his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski says that assistance to the Afghan resistance was a tactic designed to bog down the Soviet army while the United States built up a deterrent military force in the Persian Gulf to prevent Soviet political or military penetration farther south.
Pakistan fought this war as a proxy of the US and this cannot be overlooked in any fair analysis. Pakistan is a prime target for media scorn and condemnation for it has the all the ingredients that lend itself as an anathema to the guiding principles of Western civilisation. As a quintessential ideological state, founded for the Muslims of India, it unabashedly calls itself a bastion of Islam. Indeed, in stark contrast to democratic India, its history is littered with military coups and autocracy. The popular sentiment is that Pakistan, the “failed state”, must be given a thrashing to castrate it and render its national effectiveness to that of a eunuch. Most likely, preparations are underway way to classify Pakistan as part of an extended axis of evil.