Will the Washington Post and MSNBC work?
Much much more at link Regan inherited this mess from Carter.
During his tenure at the CIA, Casey played a large part in the shaping of Reagan’s foreign-policy, particularly its approach to Soviet expansionism. Casey oversaw the re-expansion of the Intelligence Community, in particular the CIA, to funding and human resource levels greater than those before resource cuts during the Carter Administration. During his tenure restrictions were lifted on the use of the CIA to directly, covertly influence the internal and foreign affairs of countries relevant to American policy.
This period of the Cold War saw an increase of the Agency’s anti-Soviet activities around the world. Casey was the principal architect of the arms-for-hostages deal that became known as the Iran-Contra affair. He also oversaw covert assistance to the mujahadeen resistance in Afghanistan by working closely with Akhtar Abdur Rahman (the Director General of ISI in Pakistan), the Solidarity movement in Poland, and a number of coups and attempted coups in South- and Central America.
Anatomy of a Victory: CIA’s Covert Afghan War
By: Steve Coll, Washington Post, July 19, 1992
“In all, the United States funneled more than $ 2 billion in guns and money to the mujaheddin during the 1980s, according to U.S. officials. It was the largest covert action program since World War II.”
A specially equipped C-141 Starlifter transport carrying William Casey touched down at a military air base south of Islamabad in October 1984 for a secret visit by the CIA director to plan strategy for the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
Helicopters lifted Casey to three secret training camps near the Afghan border, where he watched mujaheddin rebels fire heavy weapons and learn to make bombs with CIA-supplied plastic explosives and detonators.
During the visit, Casey startled his Pakistani hosts by proposing that they take the Afghan war into enemy territory — into the Soviet Union itself.
Casey wanted to ship subversive propaganda through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union’s predominantly Muslim southern republics. The Pakistanis agreed, and the CIA soon supplied thousands of Korans, as well as books on Soviet atrocities in Uzbekistan and tracts on historical heroes of Uzbek nationalism, according to Pakistani and Western officials.
“We can do a lot of damage to the Soviet Union,” Casey said, according to Mohammed Yousaf, a Pakistani general who attended the meeting.
Casey’s visit was a prelude to a secret Reagan administration decision in March 1985, reflected in National Security Decision Directive 166, to sharply escalate U.S. covert action in Afghanistan, according to Western officials.
How the Reagan administration decided to go for victory in the Afghan war between 1984 and 1988 has been shrouded in secrecy and clouded by the sharply divergent political agendas of those involved. But with the triumph of the mujaheddin rebels over Afghanistan’s leftist government in April and the demise of the Soviet Union, some intelligence officials involved have decided to reveal how the covert escalation was carried out.
The most prominent of these former intelligence officers is Yousaf, the Pakistani general who supervised the covert war between 1983 and 1987 and who last month published in Europe and Pakistan a detailed account of his role and that of the CIA, titled “The Bear Trap.”
This article and another to follow are based on extensive interviews with Yousaf as well as with more than a dozen senior Western officials who confirmed Yousaf’s disclosures and elaborated on them.
The attacks later alarmed U.S. officials in Washington, who saw military raids on Soviet territory as “an incredible escalation,” according to Graham Fuller, then a senior U.S. intelligence official who counseled against any such raids. Fearing a large-scale Soviet response and the fallout of such attacks on U.S.-Soviet diplomacy, the Reagan administration blocked the transfer to Pakistan of detailed satellite photographs of military targets inside the Soviet Union, other U.S. officials said.
An intelligence coup in 1984 and 1985 triggered the Reagan administration’s decision to escalate the covert progam in Afghanistan, according to Western officials. The United States received highly specific, sensitive information about Kremlin politics and new Soviet war plans in Afghanistan. Already under pressure from Congress and conservative activists to expand its support to the mujaheddin, the Reagan administration moved in response to this intelligence to open up its high-technology arsenal to aid the Afghan rebels.
Beginning in 1985, the CIA supplied mujaheddin rebels with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets on the Afghan battlefield, plans for military operations based on the satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 plastic explosives for urban sabotage and sophisticated guerrilla attacks, long-range sniper rifles, a targeting device for mortars that was linked to a U.S. Navy satellite, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment.
The move to upgrade aid to the mujaheddin roughly coincided with the well-known decision in 1986 to provide the mujaheddin with sophisticated, U.S.-made Stinger antiaircraft missiles. Before the missiles arrived, however, those involved in the covert war wrestled with a wide-ranging and at times divisive debate over how far they should go in challenging the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Roots of the Rebellion In 1980, not long after Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan to prop up a sympathetic leftist government, President Jimmy Carter signed the first — and for many years the only — presidential “finding” on Afghanistan, the classified directive required by U.S. law to begin covert operations, according to several Western sources familiar with the Carter document.
The Carter finding sought to aid Afghan rebels in “harassment” of Soviet occupying forces in Afghanistan through secret supplies of light weapons and other assistance. The finding did not talk of driving Soviet forces out of Afghanistan or defeating them militarily, goals few considered possible at the time, these sources said.
The cornerstone of the program was that the United States, through the CIA, would provide funds, some weapons and general supervision of support for the mujaheddin rebels, but day-to-day operations and direct contact with the mujaheddin would be left to the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI. The hands-off U.S. role contrasted with CIA operations in Nicaragua and Angola.
Saudi Arabia agreed to match U.S. financial contributions to the mujaheddin and distributed funds directly to ISI. China sold weapons to the CIA and donated a smaller number directly to Pakistan, but the extent of China’s role has been one of the secret war’s most closely guarded secrets.
In all, the United States funneled more than $ 2 billion in guns and money to the mujaheddin during the 1980s, according to U.S. officials. It was the largest covert action program since World War II.
In the first years after the Reagan administration inherited the Carter program, the covert Afghan war “tended to be handled out of Casey’s back pocket,” recalled Ronald Spiers, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, the base of the Afghan rebels. Mainly from China’s government, the CIA purchased assault rifles, grenade launchers, mines and SA-7 light antiaircraft weapons, and then arranged for shipment to Pakistan. Most of the weapons dated to the Korean War or earlier. The amounts were significant — 10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983, according to Yousaf — but a fraction of what they would be in just a few years.
(c) ‘Washington Post’, 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only
Osama bin Laden, Saudi-born millionaire turned Islamic terror chieftain, has been on the radar of the United States since the days when both he and the CIA were fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan. Now, he is public enemy number one. NBC News investigative producer Robert Windrem has tracked bin Ladens activities since the mid-1990s. Here are some questions and answers about bin Laden:
I see nothing in there that substantiates direct involvement between the CIA and Bin Laden.
The CIA aided the Afghan rebel mujaheddin - natives of Afghanistan. OBL’s mujaheddin was made of primarily of Arab volunteers, an operation for which he served mainly as fund raiser. They were two seperate groups, and the fact that they were both called “mujaheddins” and fighting the same enemy does not entail that they were directly involved with one another. FWIW, OBL himself has always denied ever having any involvement with the CIA.