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TOPIC: Pre-9/11 War Plans for Afghanistan

Pre-9/11 War Plans for Afghanistan 29 Jul 2009 17:42 #176

  • stefanlebkon
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December 19, 2000: US Seeks Taliban Overthrow; Considers Russia-US Invasion of Afghanistan

The Washington Post reports, “The United States has quietly begun to align itself with those in the Russian government calling for military action against Afghanistan and has toyed with the idea of a new raid to wipe out Osama bin Laden. Until it backed off under local pressure, it went so far as to explore whether a Central Asian country would permit the use of its territory for such a purpose.” Russia and the US are discussing “what kind of government should replace the Taliban. Thus, while claiming to oppose a military solution to the Afghan problem, the United States is now talking about the overthrow of a regime that controls nearly the entire country, in the hope it can be replaced with a hypothetical government that does not exist even on paper.” [Washington Post, 12/19/2000] It appears that all pre-9/11 plans to invade Afghanistan involve attacking from the north with Russia.

www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=...russia#a121900russia





February 2001: Al-Qaeda Is Expecting US to Invade Afghanistan, Wants War in Iraq and Somalia as Well

Ahmed Zaidan, a journalist for Al Jazeera, is invited to a wedding also attended by al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atef in Afghanistan (see February 26, 2001), and while there he talks to Atef about al-Qaeda’s military strategy. He will later recall that Atef told him, “He was explaining to me what’s going to happen in the coming five years.… There are two or three places in the world which [are] the most suitable places to fight Americans: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. We are expecting the United States to invade Afghanistan. And we are preparing for that. We want them to come to Afghanistan.” Michael Scheuer, head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, will later comment, “Did they want us involve in the war on the ground in Islamic countries? Absolutely. Part of the goal was to make sure that Muslims perceived America as the infidel invader of Muslim lands.” [William Cran, 4/15/2007] It is not known if any Western intelligence agencies were aware of this strategy prior to 9/11. However, other al-Qaeda-linked figures will make similar comments to reporters before 9/11

www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=...te_911_timeline_3904

Spring 2001: CIA Official’s Suggestion to ‘Rain Hell’ on Taliban Is Not Well Received by Other US Ofificals


According to a later account by CIA Director George Tenet, Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin expresses frustration at the lack of action about bin Laden during a meeting of deputy cabinet officials. McLaughlin reportedly says, “I think we should deliver an ultimatum to the Taliban. They either hand bin Laden over or we rain hell on them.” According to Tenet, “An odd silence followed. No one seemed to like the idea. Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, called John after the meeting and offered a friendly word of advice: ‘You are going to get your suspenders snapped if you keep making policy recommendations. That is not your role.’” [Tenet, 2007, pp. 145]

www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=...ll#aspring01rainhell



April 2001: Hekmatyar Predicts US Will Soon Attack Afghanistan and Overthrow Taliban
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Journalist Hamid Mir talks to Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is living in exile in Iran at the time. Hekmatyar predicts that the Taliban will fall by the end of the year. Mir will later recall, “he was telling me that the Americans will attack Afghanistan, Taliban government will fall, and then we’ll continue our jihad against the Americans.” Hekmatyar is opposed to the Taliban but openly supports bin Laden. He tells Mir, “Osama bin Laden is a great man and I support his ideology and I support his objectives.… He is a good friend of mine and he is a real muhjahid.” [Bergen, 2006, pp. 287] A senior Taliban official will make a similar prediction to Mir before 9/11 and hint the justification for the US attack would be a major attack against US interests.

www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=...401hekmatyarpredicts

May 2001: US Military Drafts Scenario for Afghan Operation

General William Kernan, commander in chief of the Joint Forces Command, later mentions: “The details of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan which fought the Taliban and al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks, were largely taken from a scenario examined by Central Command in May 2001.” [Agence France-Presse, 7/23/2002] This seems to contradict other accounts suggesting the military made no Afghanistan invasion plans or preparations after Bush took office (see December 2000).

www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a0501kernan#a0501kernan

June 26, 2001: US, Russia, and Regional Powers Cooperate to Oust Taliban


An Indian magazine reports more details of the cooperative efforts of the US, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran against the Taliban regime: “India and Iran will ‘facilitate’ US and Russian plans for ‘limited military action’ against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don’t bend Afghanistan’s fundamentalist regime.” Earlier in the month, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of the Confederation of Independent States that military action against the Taliban may happen, possibly with Russian involvement using bases and forces from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as well. [IndiaReacts, 6/26/2001]

www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=...an#a062601russiaplan

August 2-3, 2001: Taliban Official Predicts US Will Invade Afghanistan by Mid-October, Possibly in Response to Major Attack Inside US

A senior official in the Taliban’s defense ministry tells journalist Hamid Mir that the US will soon invade Afghanistan. Mir will later recall that he is told, “[W]e believe Americans are going to invade Afghanistan and they will do this before October 15, 2001, and justification for this would be either one of two options: Taliban got control of Afghanistan or a big major attack against American interests either inside America or elsewhere in the world.” Mir reports this information before 9/11, presumably in the newspaper in Pakistan that he works for. [Bergen, 2006, pp. 287] Interestingly, Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar made a similar prediction to Mir several months before (see April 2001). Also, several weeks earlier, US officials reportedly passed word to Taliban officials in a back channel meeting that the US may soon attack Afghanistan if the Taliban do not cooperate on building an oil and gas pipeline running through the country. According to one participant in the meeting, the US attack would take place “by the middle of October at the latest”

www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=...201talibanprediction
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Aw: Pre-9/11 War Plans for Afghanistan 06 Aug 2009 17:09 #220

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U.S. sought attack on al-Qaida
White House given plan days before Sept. 11

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4587368/


9/11 CBS9 broadcast: "There are contigency plans set to go, and the plans have been set to go for several weeks now on what to do if Osama bin Laden were to plan a very large attack, and they've selected targets in Afghanistan, and you can be sure that if it is Osama bin Laden that the US will probably retaliate, and retaliate massively."
whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/911_retaliate.wmv
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