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Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan By Scott Horton

"American Airlines Flight 11

Mohamed Atta - Egypt, tactical leader of 9/11 plot and pilot

Abdul Aziz al Omari - Saudi Arabia

Wail al Shehri - Saudi Arabia

Waleed al Shehri - Saudi Arabia

Satam al Suqami - Saudi Arabia

United Airlines Flight 175

Fayez Banihammad - United Arab Emirates

Ahmed al Ghamdi - Saudi Arabia

Hamza al Ghamdi - Saudi Arabia

Marwan al Shehhi - United Arab Emirates, pilot

Mohand al Shehri - Saudi Arabia

American Airlines Flight 77

Hani Hanjour - Saudi Arabia, pilot

Nawaf al Hazmi - Saudi Arabia

Salem al Hazmi - Saudi Arabia

Khalid al Mihdhar - Saudi Arabia

Majed Moqed - Saudi Arabia

United Airlines Flight 93

Saeed al Ghamdi - Saudi Arabia

Ahmad al Haznawi - Saudi Arabia

Ziad Jarrah - Lebanon, pilot

"It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims’ blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq. The horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are still fresh in our memory. … The youths hold you responsible for all of the killings and evictions of the Muslims and the violation of the sanctities, carried out by your Zionist brothers in Lebanon; you openly supplied them with arms and finance." Bin Laden’s Fatwa BY NEWSDESK August 23, 1996 PBS Newshour Archived

"The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews" Boston Bombing Suspect Cites US Wars as Motivation, Officials Say,” Washington Post, April 23, 2013

"After the bombing in 1993, the bombing conspirators wrote to the New York Times. They justified their attack as a way to transfer the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to the American homeland and argued that Americans would only diminish their support for Israel when they suffered in the same way as Palestinians and other people like them in moderate Arab countries.

The bombers argued that "the American people must know that their civilians who got killed are not better than those who are getting killed by the American weapons and support."

The 1993 bombers were also motivated by delusions of grandeur and a sense of moral superiority. They claimed to be engaged in a war against the United States and that hundreds of others would join them in the fight. By casting their actions as part of a broader struggle, they legitimized their attempt at mass murder.

Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, whom U.S. prosecutors described as the mastermind of the bombing, justified the attack as "necessary to use the same means against you because this is the only language which you understand." John Parachini, “Religion Isn’t Sole Motive of Terror,” RAND Corporation, September 16, 2001

"Religion is not the strongest driving force behind thousands of foreign fighters joining Isis and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, a report by US military researchers has found. A new study by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point revealed that the vast majority of almost 1,200 militants surveyed had no formal religious education and had not adhered to Islam for their entire lives.Extremist groups may prefer such recruits because they are “less capable of critically scrutinising the jihadi narrative and ideology” and instead adhere totally to their chosen organisation’s violent and reductive interpretation of Islam." Lizzie Dearden, “ISIS: Islam is ‘Not Strongest Factor’ Behind Foreign Fighters Joining Extremist Groups in Syria and Iraq,” Independent, November 16, 2016 (Quote not in book)

"The monster behind the wheel of a box truck that plowed into Bastille Day revelers in Nice late Thursday - killing at least 84 - was a creepy petty criminal prone to violence, but not seen by police or neighbors as a religious fanatic, according to French reports."Terrorist Behind Nice Attack a Creepy Loner; Not Overtly Religious, Say Neighbors,” Fox News, July 15, 2016 (Quote not in book)

"far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practice their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could actually be regarded as religious novices. Very few have been brought up in strongly religious households, and there is a higher than average proportion of converts. Some are involved in drug-taking, drinking alcohol and visiting prostitutes. MI-5 says there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalization. . . . The security service also plays down the importance of radical extremist clerics, saying their influence in radicalizing British terrorists has moved into the background in recent years. . . . The MI-5 authors stress that the most pressing current threat is from Islamist extremist groups who justify the use of violence “in defense of Islam,” but that there are also violent extremists involved in non-Islamist movements." MI5 report challenges views on terrorism in Britain The Guardian Wed 20 Aug 2008

"[Religious] radicals refused to defend violent jihad in the West as religiously obligatory, acceptable or permitted. The same was true of the young Muslim sample. Young Muslims rejected al Qaeda’s message and often use simple, catchy sayings from the Qur’an or Hadith to express that rejection. However, there was widespread support among radicals and young Muslims for Iraqi and Afghan people “defending themselves” from “invaders,” framed in the language of self-defense, just war and state sovereignty." Demos 2010 Report, The Edge

"All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema [religious leaders] have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by … the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: “As for the fighting to repulse, it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life.” On that basis, and in compliance with Allah’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem] and the holy mosque [in Mecca, Saudi Arabia] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim." Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders World Islamic Front Statement 23 February 1998

"Drone strikes are causing more and more Yemenis to hate America and join radical militants; they are not driven by ideology but rather by a sense of revenge and despair. Robert Grenier, the former head of the C.I.A.’s counterterrorism center, has warned that the American drone program in Yemen risks turning the country into a safe haven for Al Qaeda like the tribal areas of Pakistan — “the Arabian equivalent of Waziristan.” Ibrahim Mothana, “How Drones Help Al Qaeda,” New York Times, June 13, 2012 (Quote not in book)

"Ninety-nine percent of the boys, I am told, have never heard of Osama bin Laden, despite the fact he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in the next valley over from here. What has radicalized these boys instead, the school's director says, is what turns teenagers the world over to crime: poverty, poor education, limited prospects and often lack of parental control. It is in this setting that the boys have made ready recruits for Taliban scouts who wean them on tales of the U.S. drone strikes that have killed scores of Pakistani women and children over the past few years… The U.N. Special Rapporteur on drones, British lawyer Ben Emmerson, recently visited Pakistan and told me: "The consequence of drone strikes has been to radicalize an entirely new generation" Nic Robertson, “In Swat Valley, US Drone Strikes Radicalizing a New Generation,” CNN, April 15, 2013 (Quote not in book)

"Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs that the American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahideen in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention. Is this period, you were the national security advisor to President Carter. You therefore played a key role in this affair. Is this correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahiddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention [emphasis added throughout].

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into the war and looked for a way to provoke it?

B: It wasn’t quite like that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q : When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against secret US involvement in Afghanistan , nobody believed them . However, there was an element of truth in this. You don’t regret any of this today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war." Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war that was unsustainable for the regime , a conflict that bought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B : What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q : “Some agitated Moslems”? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today...

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West has a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid: There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner, without demagoguery or emotionalism. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among fundamentalist Saudi Arabia , moderate Morocco, militarist Pakistan, pro-Western Egypt, or secularist Central Asia? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries…" Zbigniew Brzezinski Interview with Le Nouvel Observateur (1998) - University Of Arizona

"It's a proud day for America. And, by God, we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all. Thank you very, very much."

"People say, 'You didn't recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage,' " said the planning officer. "Well, what were we trying to do with {United Nations-approved economic} sanctions -- help out the Iraqi people? No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of the sanctions."

Col. John A. Warden III, deputy director of strategy, doctrine and plans for the Air Force, agreed that one purpose of destroying Iraq's electrical grid was that "you have imposed a long-term problem on the leadership that it has to deal with sometime."

"Saddam Hussein cannot restore his own electricity," he said. "He needs help. If there are political objectives that the U.N. coalition has, it can say, 'Saddam, when you agree to do these things, we will allow people to come in and fix your electricity.' It gives us long-term leverage."

Said another Air Force planner: "Big picture, we wanted to let people know, 'Get rid of this guy and we'll be more than happy to assist in rebuilding. We're not going to tolerate Saddam Hussein or his regime. Fix that, and we'll fix your electricity.' " ALLIED AIR WAR STRUCK BROADLY IN IRAQ The Washington Post June 23, 1991

Randy T. Odle, “UN Sanctions Against Iraq, Their Effects and Their Future,” Air War College, April 1997

"As many as 576,000 Iraqi children may have died since the end of the Persian Gulf war because of economic sanctions imposed by the Security Council, according to two scientists who surveyed the country for the Food and Agriculture Organization.The study also found steeply rising malnutrition among the young, suggesting that more children will be at risk in the coming years. The results of the survey will appear on Friday in The Lancet, the journal of the British Medical Association."Barbara Crossette, “Iraq Sanctions Kill Children, U.N. Reports,” New York Times, December 1, 1995 (Quote not in book)

"There are a lot of things that are different now [that the U.S. occupies Iraq], and one that has gone by almost unnoticed — but it’s huge — is that … we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It’s been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda. In fact, if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things. I don’t want to speak in messianic terms. It’s not going to change things overnight, but it’s a huge improvement." Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz Interview with Sam Tannenhaus,” Vanity Fair, Ucla, May 9, 2003

"Indeed, to this day, those involved in the decision to give the Afghan rebels access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry continue to defend that move in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said.

“Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union,” he said." Bin Laden comes home to roost Dec. 10, 2003, NBC By Michael Moran (Michael Moran, “Bin Laden Comes Home to Roost: His CIA Ties Are Only the Beginning of a Woeful Story,” NBC News, August 24, 1998)

"Weeks before the terrorist attacks on 11 September, the United States and the United Nations ignored warnings from a secret Taliban emissary that Osama bin Laden was planning a huge attack on American soil.

The warnings were delivered by an aide of Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban Foreign Minister at the time, who was known to be deeply unhappy with the foreign militants in Afghanistan, including Arabs." Kate Clark, “Revealed: The Taliban Minister, the US Envoy and the Warning of September 11 That Was Ignored,” Independent, September 6, 2002

"We never heard what they were trying to say," said Milton Bearden, a former CIA station chief who oversaw U.S. covert operations in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "We had no common language. Ours was, 'Give up bin Laden.' They were saying, 'Do something to help us give him up.' "David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, “Diplomats Met with Taliban on Bin Laden,” Washington Post, October 29, 2001

"A SECRET plan to put Osama bin Laden on trial in Pakistan has been blocked after President Musharraf said he could not guarantee his safety, it was disclosed yesterday… The proposal, which had bin Laden's approval, was that within the framework of Islamic shar'ia law evidence of his alleged involvement in the New York and Washington attacks would be placed before an international tribunal." Patrick Bishop, “Pakistan Blocks bin Laden Trial,” Telegraph, October 4, 2001

"Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Haji Abdul Kabir told reporters in Jalalabad, Afghanistan that the regime was willing to turn over bin Laden to a third country that would never "come under pressure from the United States," according to The Associated Press.

U.S. officials have dismissed statements from the regime, which has at various times claimed bin Laden had left the country, was hiding in a location unknown even to the Taliban, was "under the control" of the regime and was free to lead a jihad or holy war from the country." U.S. Rejects New Taliban Offer ABC News 14th of October 2001 (Quote not im book)

"For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the U.S. without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan’s military leadership said. But U.S. officials appear to have dismissed the proposal and are instead hoping to engineer a split within the Taliban leadership.

The offer was brought by Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban foreign minister and a man who is often regarded as a more moderate figure in the regime. He met officials from the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence directorate in Islamabad on

Monday. ... [U]ntil now the Taliban regime has consistently said it has not seen any convincing evidence to implicate the Saudi dissident in any crime. “Now they have agreed to hand him over to a third country without the evidence being presented in advance,” the source close to the military said. ... The U.S. administration has not publicly supported the idea of a trial for Bin Laden outside America and appears intent on removing from power the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and the hardliners in the regime" The Guardian October 16, 2001 New offer on Bin Laden

''When I said no negotiations, I meant no negotiations,'' Mr. Bush told reporters upon landing on the South Lawn of the White House after returning from a weekend of intensive national security briefings at Camp David. He added that he was not interested in discussing Mr. bin Laden's innocence or guilt. ''We know he's guilty,'' he said." Elizabeth Bumiller, “A Nation Challenged: President Rejects Offer by Taliban for Negotiations,” New York Times, October 15, 2001

"TO: Mullah Omar

FROM: Osama bin Laden

FOLDER: Deleted File (Recovered)

DATE: October 3, 2001

We treasure your message, which confirms your generous, heroic position in defending Islam and in standing up to the symbols of infidelity of this time.

I would like to emphasize the major impact of your statements on the Islamic world. Nothing harms America more than receiving your strong response to its positions and statements. Thus it is very important that the Emirate respond to every threat or demand from America … with demands that America put an end to its support of Israel, and that U.S. forces withdraw from Saudi Arabia. …

Their threat to invade Afghanistan should be countered by a threat on your part that America will not be able to dream of security until Muslims experience it as reality in Palestine and Afghanistan. Keep in mind that America is currently facing two contradictory problems:

a) If it refrains from responding to jihad operations, its prestige will collapse, thus forcing it to withdraw its troops abroad and restrict itself to U.S. internal affairs. This will transform it from a major power to a third-rate power, similar to Russia.

b) On the other hand, a campaign against Afghanistan will impose great long-term economic burdens, leading to further economic collapse, which will force America, God willing, to resort to the former Soviet Union’s only option: withdrawal from Afghanistan, disintegration, and contraction…

We ask God to grant the Muslim Afghan nation, under your leadership, victory over the American infidels, just as He singled this nation out with the honor of defeating the Communist infidels" Inside Al-Qaeda’s Hard Drive The Atlantic By Alan Cullison

"The strategic intent was to deliver a blow that would force the US to either alter its Middle East policies, or goad America into a disproportionate response that would trigger an apocalyptic confrontation between Islam and the West. Other secondary impacts, on the political and economic openness of the US and other states, and more directly on the US and global economies, were probably more 'unintended consequences' than design." Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States: Hearing Before the Select Committee on Intelligence, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session February 6, 2002 Page 63 Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson Director, Defense Intelligence Agency Testimony

"Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated." Office of the Press Secretary September 20, 2001 Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People

"With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." – meaning Saddam Hussein – "at same time. Not only UBL" – the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden…"Go massive," the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not." Joel Roberts, “Plans for Iraq Attack Began On 9/11,” CBS News, September 4, 2002

"Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon adopted a plan to topple the governments of seven countries Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Iran) within five years, according to a memorandum disclosed by US General Wesley Clark." General Wesley Clark, not exact quote

"On Thursday, September 20, Tony Blair arrived in Washington for a meeting at the White House. Until now, many assumed his and Bush’s early talks had been limited to the coming war in Afghanistan. In fact, they also spoke of Iraq. At a dinner in the White House, attended also by Colin Powell, Condi Rice, and the British ambassador to the United States, Sir Christopher Meyer, Bush made clear that he was determined to topple Saddam. “Rumors were already flying that Bush would use 9/11 as a pretext to attack Iraq,” Meyer remembers. “On the one hand, Blair came with a very strong message—don’t get distracted; the priorities were al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, the Taliban. Bush said, ‘I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.’ ” Bryan Burrough et al., “The Path to War,” Vanity Fair, December 19, 2008

"Letters of marque and reprisal resolve one of the most vexing problems facing the country: how do we obtain retribution against the perpetrators of the attacks without inflicting massive damage on the Middle East which could drive moderate Arabs into an allegiance with bin Laden and other terrorists. This is because using letters of marque and reprisal shows the people of the region that we are serious when we say our quarrel is not with them but with Osama bin Laden and all others who would dare commit terrorist acts against the United States." AIR PIRACY REPRISAL AND CAPTURE ACT OF 2001 HON. RON PAUL of texas in the house of representatives Wednesday, October 10, 2001

"The Taliban, on the other hand, would dig in and try to stall us until the first snows of winter, which were only a month or so away. People back at headquarters had told me to expect six months of World War I–style trench warfare. And as we tried to defeat the Taliban we had the added responsibility of searching for Osama bin Laden and destroying what we could of his terrorist organization." Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA ’s Key Field Commander Page 99-100

“I’m in San Francisco at the moment, sitting in the office of the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge. Believe it or not, they have an Afghan contact here who says his brother is on the front lines as a commander with the Taliban opposing you but would like to cut a deal.”... As she read the number I marveled at how globally connected even a Taliban commander in a backwater like Afghanistan could be with the right piece of technology. “Mary, give me your number and have the FBI keep their Afghan contact on a short leash in case I have problems contacting his brother, the commander.”... Mohammad says he has almost a thousand men under his command,” Aref* reported. Then he walked over to a map and pointed to a position northeast of Kabul. “He’s defending this position on the Shomali Plains and says he wants a half a million dollars to surrender all his forces, which he says he can arrange within a week… “Mohammad has twenty al-Qaeda fighters with him and wants to know what to do with the Arabs,” Engineer Aref* said. “Tell him to kill them all… The next morning, November 7, at 1100 hours gunfire could be heard from Mohammad’s position on the front. Thirty minutes later 730 soldiers crossed from the Taliban side in three single file lines with their hands up. Majid oversaw the quick bloodless transition, which lasted less than fifteen minutes. The Taliban soldiers simply marched into the Panshir and joined our side. They explained that the gunfire we heard was the sound of them killing the al-Qaeda fighters attached to their unit." Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA ’s Key Field Commander Page 158-160

I quickly called CENTCOM and spoke to our Agency rep. “I have al-Qaeda trying to draw our Afghan allies into negotiations. I have refused. You need to talk to CENTCOM and throw as much air power at them as quickly as possible. Guys who fly airliners into skyscrapers don’t negotiate. They’re trying to reduce the intensity of our attacks so they can slip out."...

I’d learned that Afghans love to negotiate. I also knew that as far as our Eastern Alliance allies were concerned, they would be happy to take our money and let al-Qaeda slip away. The next eight hours were extremely dangerous for Team Juliet and the handful of U.S. soldiers in Tora Bora, since they weren’t sure if our Eastern Alliance allies had sided with the enemy. Day and night, I kept thinking, We needed U.S. soldiers on the ground! We need them to do the fighting! We need them to block a possible al-Qaeda escape into Pakistan! I’d sent my request for 800 U.S. Army Rangers and was still waiting for a response. I repeated to anyone at headquarters who would listen: “We need Rangers now! The opportunity to get bin Laden and his men is slipping away!!”

Apparently, the U.S. Rangers weren’t coming. CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks later explained to Frontline: “The Afghans themselves wanted to get into Tora Bora. They wanted to do it very quickly. At that time, our Special Forces troopers were not yet in large numbers, even with those forces that we were providing support to. So rather than taking a decision that said: Let’s take a break for some prolonged period of time and try to introduce large numbers of non-Afghan coalition forces, the determination was made. I made it, and I think it was a pretty good determination, to provide support to that operation, and to work with the Pakistanis along the Pakistani border to bring it to conclusion.”

He was either badly misinformed by his own people or blinded by the fog of war. I’d made it clear in my reports that our Afghan allies were hardly anxious to get at al-Qaeda in Tora Bora. So why was the U.S. military looking for excuses not to act decisively? Why would they want to leave something that was so important to an unreliable Afghan army that’d been cobbled together at the last minute? This was the opportunity we’d hoped for when we launched this mission. Our advantage was quickly slipping away." Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA ’s Key Field Commander Page 290-291

"Even though the JSOC commander was directing the battlefield in Tora Bora, George and I were still very much involved. I spoke again with Hank at CTC/ and asked one more time for the U.S. military to deploy ground troops to trap bin Laden and the remnants of his force in the White Mountains. Hank assured me that my request had been forwarded to CENTCOM and the seventh floor. He explained: “Unfortunately, it’s not my call.” Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA ’s Key Field Commander Page 305

"But the Al Qaeda leader would live to fight another day. Fewer than 100 American commandos were on the scene with their Afghan allies, and calls for reinforcements to launch an assault were rejected. Requests were also turned down for U.S. troops to block the mountain paths leading to sanctuary a few miles away in Pakistan. The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the Marine Corps and the Army, was kept on the sidelines. Instead, the U.S. command chose to rely on airstrikes and untrained Afghan militias to attack bin Laden and on Pakistan's loosely organized Frontier Corps to seal his escape routes. On or around December 16, two days after writing his will, bin Laden and an entourage of bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area. Most analysts say he is still there today.

The decision not to deploy American forces to go after bin Laden or block his escape was made by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top commander, Gen. Tommy Franks, the architects of the unconventional Afghan battle plan known as Operation Enduring Freedom. Rumsfeld said at the time that he was concerned that too many U.S. troops in Afghanistan would create an anti-American backlash and fuel a widespread insurgency... Even when his own commanders and senior intelligence officials in Afghanistan and Washington argued for dispatching more U.S. troops, Franks refused to deviate from the plan.

There were enough U.S. troops in or near Afghanistan to execute the classic sweep-and-block maneuver required to attack bin Laden and try to prevent his escape. It would have been a dangerous fight across treacherous terrain, and the injection of more U.S. troops and the resulting casualties would have contradicted the risk-averse...

After bin Laden's escape, some military and intelligence analysts and the press criticized the Pentagon's failure to mount a full-scale attack despite the tough rhetoric by President Bush. Franks, Vice President Dick Cheney and others defended the decision, arguing that the intelligence was inconclusive about the Al Qaeda leader's location. But the review of existing literature, unclassified government records and interviews with central participants underlying this report removes any lingering doubts and makes it clear that Osama bin Laden was within our grasp at Tora Bora.

For example, the CIA and Delta Force commanders who spent three weeks at Tora Bora as well as other intelligence and military sources are certain he was there." TORA BORA REVISITED: HOW WE FAILED TO GET BIN LADEN AND WHY IT MATTERS TODAY A Report To Members OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE John F. Kerry, Chairman One Hundred Eleventh Congress First Session November 30, 2009 (Quote not in book)

"The report by The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) policy think-tank showed 92 percent of 1,000 Afghan men surveyed in Helmand and Kandahar know nothing of the hijacked airliner attacks on U.S. targets in 2001.

“The lack of awareness of why we are there contributes to the high levels of negativity toward the NATO military operations and made the job of the Taliban easier,” ICOS President Norine MacDonald told Reuters from Washington" Paul Tait, “Few Afghans Know Reason for War, New Study Shows,” Reuters, November 19, 2010 (Quote not in book)

"The man you are about to meet was the officer in command, leading a team from the U.S. Army's mysterious Delta Force - a unit so secret, it's often said Delta doesn't exist. But you are about to see Delta's operators in action… "We want to come in on the back door," Fury explains. "The original plan that we sent up through our higher headquarters, Delta Force wants to come in over the mountain with oxygen, coming from the Pakistan side, over the mountains and come in and get a drop on bin Laden from behind."

But they didn't take that route, because Fury says they didn't get approval from a higher level. "Whether that was Central Command all the way up to the president of the United States, I'm not sure," he says… The next option that Delta wanted to employ was to drop hundreds of landmines in the mountain passes that led to Pakistan, which was bin Laden's escape route.

"First guy blows his leg off, everybody else stops. That allows aircraft overhead to find them. They see all these heat sources out there. Okay, there a big large group of Al Qaeda moving south. They can engage that," Fury explains.

But they didn't do that either, because Fury says that plan was also disapproved. He says he has "no idea" why.

"How often does Delta come up with a tactical plan that's disapproved by higher headquarters?" Pelley asks.

"In my experience, in my five years at Delta, never before," Fury says.

The military wouldn't tell 60 Minutes who rejected the plans or why. Fury wasn't happy about it but he pressed on with the only option he had left, a frontal assault on bin Laden's dug-in al Qaeda fighters" "Elite Officer Recalls Bin Laden Hunt,” 60 Minutes, CBS News, October 2, 2008

"For Dalton Fury, the reward would have been worth the risk. ``In general, I definitely think it was worth the risk to the force to assault Tora Bora for Osama bin Laden,'' he told the committee staff. ``What other target out there, then or now, could be more important to our nation's struggle in the global war on terror?'' TORA BORA REVISITED: HOW WE FAILED TO GET BIN LADEN AND WHY IT MATTERS TODAY A Report To Members OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE John F. Kerry, Chairman One Hundred Eleventh Congress First Session November 30, 2009

Question: Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part — deep in your heart, don’t you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won’t really eliminate the threat of —

Bush: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run if he’s alive at all. Who knows if he’s hiding in some cave or not; we haven’t heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is — really indicates to me people don’t understand the scope of the mission… So I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. I’m more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong; that when we find enemy [Taliban] bunched up like we did in Shahikot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did. And there will be other battles in Afghanistan…

Question: But don’t you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won’t truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive…

I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban. But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became — we shoved him out more and more on the margins" George W. Bush, “The President’s News Conference,” 38 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 407 (March 13, 2002

"Oct. 23, 2002 -- A new report accuses the State Department of staggering lapses in its visa program that gave Sept. 11 hijackers entry into the United States." Martha Raddatz, “State Dept. Lapses Aided 9/11 Hijackers,” ABC News, October 23, 2002

"However, the war against terrorism ushers in a new paradigm, one in which groups with broad, international reach commit horrific acts against innocent civilians, sometimes with the direct support of states. Our nation recognizes that this new paradigm – ushered in not by us, but by terrorists – requires new thinking in the law of war, but thinking that should nevertheless be consistent with the principles of Geneva…

a. I accept the legal conclusion of the Department of Justice and determine that none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere throughout the world because, among other reasons, al Qaeda is not a High Contracting Party to Geneva.

b. I accept the legal conclusion of the attorney general and the Department of Justice that I have the authority under the Constitution to suspend Geneva as between the United States and Afghanistan, but I decline to exercise that authority at this time. Accordingly, I determine that the provisions of Geneva will apply to our present conflict with the Taliban. I reserve the right to exercise the authority in this or future conflicts…

d. Based on the facts supplied by the Department of Defense and the recommendation of the Department of Justice, I determine that the Taliban detainees are unlawful combatants and, therefore, do not qualify as prisoners of war under Article 4 of Geneva. I note that, because Geneva does not apply to our conflict with al Qaeda, al Qaeda detainees also do not qualify as prisoners of war." George W. Bush, “Memorandum to National Security Council Principles’ Committee,” February 7, 2002

"Additional elements of the necessity defense are worth noting here. First, the defense is not limited to certain types of harms. Therefore, the harm inflicted by necessity may include intentional homicide, so long as the harm avoided is greater (i.e., preventing more deaths). Id. at 634. Second, it must actually be the defendant's intention to avoid the greater harm; intending to commit murder and then learning only later that the death had the fortuitous result of saving other lives will not support a necessity defense. Id. at 635. Third, if the defendant reasonably believed that the lesser harm was necessary, even if, unknown to him, it was not, he may still avail himself of the defense." Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales Counsel to the President: Standards of Conduct for Interrogation Under U.S.C. 2340-2340A,” Office of the Assistant Attorney General, August 1, 2002 Page 40

"On Aug. 24, 2009, based on information the Department received pertaining to alleged CIA mistreatment of detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he had expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to conduct a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations. Attorney General Holder made clear at that time, that the Department would not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees" Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on Closure of Investigation into the Interrogation of Certain Detainees,” United States Department of Justice, August 30, 2012

"2. FACT: Extraordinary rendition began under the Clinton regime.

Covert extraordinary rendition began as a systematic tactic on September 22, 1995, with the capture of terrorist Abu Talal al-Qasimi in Croatia; he was later transferred to Egypt for execution. The largest pre-9/11 CIA rendition occurred in 1998, when five suspects in Albania and Bulgaria were captured and rendered to Egypt. Two were hanged without trial; all were brutally tortured.

Renditions after 9/11 were different, however. The numbers expanded dramatically, each rendition no longer required presidential approval, and it was no longer a requirement that a prisoner be 'wanted' for some offense in the country where he was sent.

3. FACT: The United States does send prisoners to other countries in the knowledge they will be tortured. In the course of researching the rendition program over four years, I’ve interviewed CIA pilots, case officers who’ve carried out renditions, senior CIA officers who’ve directed such operations and officials at the White House who have been involved in authorizing such measures. All of these sources acknowledged to me, in private or in on-the-record interviews, that claims by the White House that “we don’t send people to countries where they will be tortured” are lies." Five Facts and Five Fictions About CIA Rendition,” Frontline, PBS, November 4, 2007

“Colonel Wilkerson, in your prepared testimony you write that: As I compiled my dossier for Secretary Powell, and as I did further research, and as my views grew firmer and firmer, I needed frequently to reread that memo; that is to say, the memorandum of February 7, 2002. I need to balance in my own mind the overwhelming evidence that my own Government has

sanctioned abuse and torture, which, at its worst, has led to the murder of 25 detainees and a total of at least 100 detainee deaths. We had murdered 25 or more people in detention. That was the clear low point of the evidence. So your testimony is that 100 detainees have died in detention, and that you believe 25 of those were, in effect,


Colonel Wilkerson. Mr. Chairman, I think the number is actually higher than that now. The last time I checked, there was about 108. And the total number that were declared homicides by the military services or by the CIA or others doing investigation, CID and so forth, was 25, 26, 27

Mr. Nadler. Were declared homicide?

Colonel Wilkerson. Correct. Starting as early as December in Afghanistan.

Mr. Nadler. And these are homicides committed by people engaged in an interrogation?

Colonel Wilkerson. Or in guarding prisoners or something like that. People who were in detention.

Mr. Nadler. So these weren't people trying to escape or something. They were declared homicides by our own authorities?

Colonel Wilkerson. Right.

Mr. Nadler. Do you know if any were prosecuted?

"Guantánamo Bay has often been the focus of jihadist media and propaganda. Just recently, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the mouthpiece of the Taliban — put out a statement calling attention to the ongoing hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay. … In 2010, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the first issue of Inspire, their English language recruitment magazine. … The plight of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay has been featured prominently in several issues. In the 2010 inaugural issue of Inspire, an essay by Osama bin Laden mentions “the crimes at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo . . . which shook the conscience of humanity.” Tellingly, bin Laden points out that “there has been no mentionable change” at Guantánamo and the prison is noted again later in the issue. … The essays of Abu Sufyan al-Azdi and Uthman al-Gamidi, two former

detainees who returned to AQAP upon their release, call new individuals to join the jihad, whether at home or abroad. In Issue 7, Yahya Ibrahim notes that Guantánamo Bay “exposed the West for what it really is” and “showed the world the American understanding of human rights.” Thérèse Postel, “How Guantanamo Bay’s Existence Helps Al-Qaeda Recruit More Terrorists,” Atlantic, April 12, 2013

"S]ome of the consequences of Washington’s anti-terrorism policies had galvanized the Taliban. Commanders fixated on the deaths of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian civilians in military airstrikes, as well as the American detention of Muslim prisoners who had been held for years without being charged. America, Europe and Israel preached democracy, human rights and impartial justice to the Muslim world, they said, but failed to follow those principles themselves" David Rhode, “7 Months, 10 Days in Captivity,” New York Times, October 17, 2009

"KABUL, Afghanistan — Mohammed Mohaqiq says he was getting ready to make his run for the Afghan presidency when U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad dropped by his campaign office and proposed a deal.“He told me to drop out of the elections, but not in a way to put pressure,” Mohaqiq said. “It was like a request.”... “He left, and then called my most loyal men, and the most educated people in my party or campaign, to the presidential palace and told them to make me -- or request me -- to resign the nomination. And he told my men to ask me what I need in return.” Paul Watson, “US Hand Seen in Afghan Election,”Los Angeles Times, September 23, 2004 (Quote not in book)

"Leaders of a south-east Afghanistan tribe have told its members they must vote for Hamid Karzai in presidential polls or their houses will be burned" Crispin Thorold, “Vote Threat to Afghan Tribesmen,” BBC News, September 24, 2004

"In 1996, approximately 40 percent of Afghans were Pashtun, 11.4 of whom are of the Durrani tribal group and 13.8 percent of the Ghilzai group. Tajiks make up the second largest ethnic group with 25.3 percent of the population, followed by Hazaras, 18 percent; Uzbeks, 6.3 percent; Turkmen, 2.5 percent; Qizilbash, 1.0; 6.9 percent other." US State Department, “Afghanistan,” Country Studies

"Despite ethnic quotas and recruiting drives, the Afghan army is still dominated by northern minorities who were oppressed by the Taliban. Nearly all Taliban are ethnic Pashtuns. Although many Pashtuns, the country's biggest ethnic community, are not connected to the Taliban, the rift between northerners and the southern Pashtuns runs deep. Now this ethnically skewed army is pouring into southern Afghanistan as part of an operation to squeeze the Taliban out of strongholds here and win the loyalty of the main prize — the Afghan people" Heidi Vogt, “Ethnic Divisions Plague Afghan Army,” NBC News, July 28, 2010 (Quote not in book)

"Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World [Halford Mackinder]… Geopolitics has moved from the regional to the global dimension, with preponderance over the entire Eurasian continent serving as the central basis for global primacy. The United States, a non-Eurasian power, now enjoys international primacy, with its power directly deployed on three peripheries of the Eurasian continent, from which it exercises a powerful influence on the states occupying the Eurasian hinterland. But it is on the globe’s most important playing field — Eurasia — that a potential rival to America might at some point arise. Thus, focusing on the key players and properly assessing the terrain has to be the point of departure for the formulation of American geostrategy for the long-term management of America’s Eurasian geopolitical interests. … To put it in a terminology that harkens back to a more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." The grand chessboard by Zbigniew K. Brzezinski Page 38-40

"Mr. DAMELIN. Let's focus specifically on the oil pipeline issue in the Caucasus. Could you briefly describe what the U.S. policy was in June 1995 with respect to oil pipelines in this part of the world?

Ms. HESLIN. U.S. policy was to promote the rapid development of Caspian energy, specifically through the development of multiple pipelines on commercially viable international terms. We did so specifically to promote the independence of these oil-rich countries to, in essence, break Russia's monopoly control over the transportation of oil from that region which had significantly reduced its flow and frankly to promote western energy security through diversification of supply. So that was our policy. It was a geopolitical decision. We sought to link these countries specifically to the West, while promoting good relations with their neighbors.” Investigation of Illegal Or Improper Activities in Connection with the 1996 Federal Election Campaign: Hearings Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fifth Congress, First Session, Part 7 Page 98 (Extended quote from book) Sheila Heslin Clinton National Security Council member

"The previously unknown deposits including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe. An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys… “There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.” James Risen, “US Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan,” New York Times, June 13, 2010

"Once an American overseas base is established it takes on a life of its own. Original missions may become outdated but new missions are developed, not only with the intention of keeping the facility going, but often to actually enlarge it. Within the government departments most directly concerned — State and Defense — we found little initiative to reduce or eliminate any of these overseas facilities." Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad: Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate 1970 Page 20

"The Pentagon tries to prevent local populations from reclaiming or otherwise exerting their rights over these long-established bases (as in the cases of the Puerto Rican movement to get the navy off Vieques Island, which it used largely for target practice, and of the Oldnawan movement to get the marines and air force to go home — or at least go elsewhere). It also works hard to think of ways to reestablish the right to bases from which the United States has withdrawn or been expelled (in places like the Philippines, Taiwan, Greece, and Spain)" The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic Chalmers Johnson Page 152 (served in the Korean War, was a consultant for the CIA from 1967 to 1973)

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address (1961)

"The main request of the Taliban officials in this group was to be given immunity from arrest in exchange for agreeing to abstain from political life. At this juncture, these leading Taliban members (as well as the rank and file) did not appear to view the government and its foreign backers as necessitating a 1980s-type jihad. Some members even saw the new government as Islamic and legitimate. Indeed, Mullah Obaidullah and other former Taliban officials even surrendered to Afghan authorities in early 2002. But Karzai and other government officials ignored the overtures — largely due to pressures from the United States and the Northern Alliance, the Taliban’s erstwhile enemy. … Widespread intimidation and harassment of these former Taliban ensued. Sympathetic figures in the government told Jalaluddin Haqqani and others in the group that they should flee the country, for they would not be safe in Afghanistan. So the men eventually vanished across the border into Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. Many of the signatories of the letter were to become leading figures in the insurgency." Anand Gopal, “Missed Opportunities in Kandahar,” Foreign Policy, November 10, 2010

"​Still, a close look at U.S. military statistics shows that Afghan soldiers and police officers are far more expensive than you'd expect. They are paid an average of just $1,872 a year, but the overall cost of training and fielding a police officer is roughly $30,000 per year, while the cost of each soldier is nearly $46,000 per year. the United States bears virtually all of those costs, adding up to more than $3.5 billion a year." The US Spends $14K per Afghan Troop Per Year, but Each Earns $1,872,” Atlantic, April 16, 2012

"Much of the more than $115 billion the United States has committed to reconstruction projects and programs risks being wasted because the Afghans cannot sustain the investment—financially or functionally—without massive, continued donor support. Donors were expected to finance approximately 69% of Afghanistan’s $6.5 billion fiscal year (FY) 1395 national budget (December 22, 2015–December 21, 2016), mostly through grants. At 2016 conferences in Warsaw and Brussels, the United States and other donors pledged to maintain assistance to Afghanistan at or near current levels through 2020" High-Risk List, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, January 2017 Page 2

"Contracting represents a high risk to the success of Afghanistan reconstruction. The usual difficulties of contract management are magnified and aggravated by Afghanistan’s remoteness, active insurgency, widespread corruption, limited ministerial capability, difficulties in collecting and verifying data, and other issues. … SIGAR has found that challenges in Afghanistan are so widespread that sometimes there is an assumption that if you throw enough money or people at a problem, the status quo will improve. In other words, implementers sometimes think their initial objective need not be precise, because the intervention will surely do some good somewhere" High-Risk List, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, January 2017 Page 3,9

"Corruption significantly undermined the U.S. mission in Afghanistan by damaging

the legitimacy of the Afghan government, strengthening popular support for the

insurgency, and channeling material resources to insurgent groups. Surveys and anecdotal evidence indicate that corrupt officials at all levels of government

victimized and alienated the Afghan population. Substantial U.S. funds found their way to insurgent groups, some portion of which was due to corruption.

Corruption also undermined faith in the international reconstruction effort. The

Afghan public witnessed limited oversight of lucrative reconstruction projects by

the military and aid community, leading to bribery, fraud, extortion, and nepotism,

as well as the empowerment of abusive warlords and their militias. Public trust in the U.S.-led intervention eroded, as international aid agencies, contractors, and

"Adjusted for inflation, the $115 billion in U.S. appropriations provided to reconstruct

Afghanistan exceeds the funds committed to the Marshall Plan, the U.S. aid program that, between 1948 and 1952, helped 16 West European countries recover in the aftermath of World War II. However, U.S. assistance to Afghanistan differs from the Marshall Plan in one key respect: whereas the Marshall Plan was a civilian effort operating in a post-war environment, over 60% of Afghanistan’s reconstruction funds have been spent to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in their efforts to secure a country still facing a determined insurgency. Including U.S. war funding unrelated to reconstruction, U.S. appropriations for Afghanistan now total more than three quarters of a trillion dollars—not including the $43.7 billion requested for FY 2017." High-Risk List, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, January 2017 Page 4

Together, DOD, State, and USAID spent approximately $759.6 million on 39

programs to support primary and secondary education in Afghanistan from FY 2002 to FY 2014. SIGAR’s analysis of State and USAID data showed that the

agencies were able to identify the programs they implemented and the

amount of funds (approximately $617.9 million) or the percentage of program

funds that supported primary and secondary education. SIGAR found that DOD spent at least $141.7 million on Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) projects to support primary and secondary education. However, SIGAR found limitations in DOD’s tracking of certain CERP projects that prevented SIGAR from determining how much DOD spent on about 1,000 CERP projects related to education. Although DOD subsequently corrected the two limitations with how it tracked CERP funds, DOD spent additional money on CERP beyond the $141.7 million that SIGAR was able to identify." Primary and Secondary Education in Afghanistan: Comprehensive Assessments Needed to Determine the Progress and Effectiveness of over $759 Million in DOD, State, and USAID Programs,” Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, April 2016 Page 2

"Mr. KUCINICH. Madam Speaker, I just would like to talk for a minute

about the mission in the context of what is going on with the government in Kabul. The Washington Post did a story on February 25 which talks about ``Officials puzzle over millions of dollars leaving Afghanistan by plane for Dubai,'' and I will include that for the Record… Previous to that, the Post did a story about money funneled through a Kabul bank and companies owned by the bank's founder to individual friends, family, and business connections of Hamid Karzai. When you consider the amount of corruption that is going on in Afghanistan, it can only be called, charitably, ``crony capitalism.'' In fact, The Washington Post printed an article on February 22, entitled ``In Afghanistan, Signs of Crony Capitalism,'' and I include this for the Record." Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 34 (Wednesday, March 10, 2010) - Andrew Higgins, “Officials Puzzle Over Millions of Dollars Leaving Afghanistan by Plane for Dubai,” Washington Post, February 25 2010

"KABUL—American officers deployed as mentors in Afghanistan's main military hospital discovered a shocking secret last year: Injured soldiers were routinely dying of simple infections and even starving to death as some corrupt doctors and nurses demanded bribes for food and the most basic of care. The discovery, which hasn't previously been reported, added new details to longstanding evidence of gross mismanagement at Dawood National Military Hospital, where most salaries and supplies are paid for by American taxpayers." Maria Abi-Habib, “At Afghan Military Hospital, Graft and Deadly Neglect,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2011

"Since 2002, USAID and DOD have spent approximately $2.8 billion to construct and repair Afghanistan’s road infrastructure, and perform capacity-building activities…

SIGAR selected and assessed the condition of 1,640 kilometers of U.S.-

funded national and regional highways, or approximately 22 percent of all paved roads in Afghanistan. The results indicate that most of these highways need repair and maintenance. For example, SIGAR performed inspections of 20 road segments and found that 19 segments had road damage ranging from deep surface cracks to roads and bridges destroyed

by weather or insurgents. Moreover, 17 segments were either poorly maintained or not maintained at all, resulting in road defects that limited drivability. MOPW officials acknowledged that roads in Afghanistan are in poor condition. In August 2015, an MOPW official stated that 20 percent of the roads were destroyed and the remaining 80 percent continue to

deteriorate. The official added that the Kabul to Kandahar highway is beyond repair and needs to be rebuilt. USAID estimated that unless maintained, it would cost about $8.3 billion to replace Afghanistan’s road infrastructure, and estimated that 54 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffered from poor maintenance and required rehabilitation beyond simple repairs.Afghanistan’s Road Infrastructure: Sustainment Challenges and Lack of Repairs Put US Investment at Risk,” Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, October 29, 2016 Page 1,2

“I said from the get-go that we didn’t have enough money and we didn’t have enough soldiers,” said Robert P. Finn, who was the ambassador in 2002 and 2003. “I’m saying the same thing six years later.”

Zalmay Khalilzad, who was the next ambassador and is now the American ambassador to the United Nations, said, “I do think that state-building and nation-building, we came to that reluctantly,” adding that “I think more could have been done earlier on these issues.”

And Ronald E. Neumann, who replaced Mr. Khalilzad in Kabul, said, “The idea that we could just hunt terrorists and we didn’t have to do nation-building, and we could just leave it alone, that was a large mistake.” David Rohde and David Sanger, “How a ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Went Bad,” New York Times, August 12, 2007

"KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, June 22, 2010 -- The United States military is helping fund both sides of the war in Afghanistan, knowingly financing a mafia-like collection of warlords and some of the very insurgents American troops are battling, according to Afghan and American officials and a new Congressional study released today.The military has turned to private trucking companies to transport the vast majority of materiel it needs to fight the war -- everything from bullets to Gatorade, gas to sandbags -- and in turn, the companies are using American money to pay, among others, the Taliban to try to guarantee the trucks' safe passage, the reports charge" Report: U.S. Bribes to Protect Convoys Are Funding Taliban Insurgents

"It hurts on a level that — three units from the Army, we all did what we did up there. And we all lost men. We all sacrificed. I was 18 years old when I got there. I really would not have expected to go through what we went through at that age. It confuses me, why it took so long for them to realize that we were not making progress up there." Alissa J. Rubin, “US Forces Close Post in Afghan ‘Valley of Death,’” New York Times, April 14, 2010

"Washington (CNN) -- The online leak of thousands of secret military documents from the war in Afghanistan by the website WikiLeaks did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods, the Department of Defense concluded… "The initial assessment in no way discounts the risk to national security," Gates wrote. "However, the review to date has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods compromised by the disclosure." Gates: Leaked documents don't reveal key intel, but risks remain By Adam Levine, CNN October 17, 2010

"Behind the military jargon, the war logs are littered with accounts of civilian tragedies. The 144 entries in the logs recording some of these so-called “blue on white” events, cover a wide spectrum of day-by-day assaults on Afghans, with hundreds of casualties. They range from the shootings of individual innocents to the often massive loss of life from air strikes, which eventually led President Hamid Karzai to protest publicly that the U.S. was treating Afghan lives as “cheap.” When civilian family members are actually killed in Afghanistan, their relatives do, in fairness, get greater solatia payments than cans of beans and Hershey bars. The logs refer to sums paid of 100,000 Afghani per corpse, equivalent to about £1,500 [approximately $1,900]" Afghanistan war logs: Secret CIA paramilitaries’ role in civilian deathsInnocent Afghan men, women and children have paid the price of the Americans' rules of engagement David Leigh Sun 25 Jul 2010

cannot be completely avoided

"This was the hidden civilian damage from the first drone strike Barack Obama ever ordered, on 23 January 2009, the inauguration of a counter-terrorism tactic likely to define Obama’s presidency in much of the Muslim world. It was the third day of his presidency. Reportedly, the strikes did not hit the Taliban target Obama and the Central Intelligence Agency sought. Instead, they changed Qureshi’s life irrevocably." Spencer Ackerman, “Victim of Obama’s First Drone Strike: ‘I Am the Living Example of What Drones Are,’” Guardian, January 23, 2016 (Quote not in book)

"what is perceived by the Pashtun people as a continued and sustained assault, going back centuries, on Pashtun land, culture, traditions and religion by internal and external enemies. The U.S. and NATO presence in Pashtun valleys and villages, as well as Afghan army and police units that are led and composed of non-Pashtun soldiers and police, provide an occupation force against which the insurgency is justified." Karen DeYoung, “US Official Resigns over Afghan War,” Washington Post, October 27, 2009 Matthew Hoh Political Officer in the Foreign Office and Civilization Representative in the Zabul Province - Resignation Letter

"The U.S. ambassador in Kabul sent two classified cables to Washington in the past week expressing deep concerns about sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan until President Hamid Karzai's government demonstrates that it is willing to tackle the corruption and mismanagement that has fueled the Taliban's rise, senior U.S. officials said. Karl W. Eikenberry's memos, sent as President Obama enters the final stages of his deliberations over a new Afghanistan strategy, illustrated both the difficulty of the decision and the deepening divisions within the administration's national security team. After a top-level meeting on the issue Wednesday afternoon -- Obama's eighth since early last month -- the White House issued a statement that appeared to reflect Eikenberry's concerns…But Eikenberry's last-minute interventions have highlighted the nagging undercurrent of the policy discussion: the U.S. dependence on a partnership with a Karzai government whose incompetence and corruption is a universal concern within the administration. After months of political upheaval, in the wake of widespread fraud during the August presidential election, Karzai was installed last week for a second five-year term." Greg Jaffe “US Envoy Resists Troop Increase, Cites Karzai as Problem,” Washington Post, November 12, 2009

"The president had put all of us on notice in the late fall of 2010 that, while he wanted a low-key and swift review of the Afghan strategy iDecember...The key subjects were the troop drawdowns in July and determining what our presence should be in Afghanistan after 2014. Did we want bases? Would we continue to conduct counterterrorism operations? What is “Afghan good enough”? How big should the Afghan national security forces be? How much would they cost, and who would pay for them? Petraeus and the Defense Department were proposing an Afghan force level between 352,000 and 378,000. The president expressed his displeasure that those numbers had leaked, again making it look like the military was trying to “jam” him… "He concluded [Obama], "If I believe I am being gamed ..."and left the sentence hanging there with the clear implication the consequences would be dire. I was pretty upset myself. I thought implicitly accusing Petraeus (and perhaps Mullen and me) of gaming him in front of thirty people in the Situation Room was inappropriate, not to mention highly disrespectful of Petraeus. As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand Karzai, doesn't believe in his own strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out. Biden continued to egg him on, and his staff missed no opportunity to pass him inflammatory news clips and other information raising questions about Petraeus and the senior military leaders.

I called Donilon two days later to express my concern that the vice president was poisoning the well with the president with regard to Petraeus and Afghanistan. I said I thought Biden was subjecting Obama to Chinese water torture, every day saying, “the military can't be trusted,” "the strategy can't work,” “it's all failing,” “the military is trying to game you, to screw you." Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, (New York: Knopf, 2014) Page 557 (Extended Quote From Book)

"Obama also shared with McDonough a long-standing resentment: He was tired of watching Washington unthinkingly drift toward war in Muslim countries. Four years earlier, the president believed, the Pentagon had “jammed” him on a troop surge for Afghanistan. Now, on Syria, he was beginning to feel jammed again" Jeffrey Goldberg, “The Obama Doctrine,” Atlantic, April 2016

"The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable," McChrystal said in a statement. He added that progress will demand a revised strategy, greater "resolve" and a "unity of effort" by the NATO-led multinational force… The appraisal comes amid declining U.S. public support for the war and growing tension between U.S. commanders in need of resources and a White House wary of committing to fresh troops. It echoes recent gloomy statements by top military officials such as Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the conflict is "deteriorating" and that the Taliban is far more sophisticated than it was just a few years ago. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Monday called Afghanistan "a mixed picture" and said "a very tough fight" lies ahead." Ann Scott Tyson, “US Commander in Afghanistan Calls Situation ‘Serious,’” Washington Post, September 1, 2009 (quote not in book)

For all his innovations, McChrystal still is hostage to geography: Afghanistan is bigger than Iraq, yet he has only half as many troops. He plans to double the size of Afghan forces to 400,000, but that will take years. The only place he can get the troops he needs now is from the United States. Asked if he's confident he'll get what he is asking for, McChrystal said, "I'm confident that I will have an absolute chance to provide my assessment and to make my recommendations." But you're already under pressure not to ask for more. I mean, how's that affect what you do?" Martin asked. "Doesn't affect me at all. And David, I take this extraordinarily seriously. I believe that what I am responsible to do is to give my best assessment," McChrystal said."

"The Afghanistan surge

In December 2009, President Barack Obama announces a troop surge: He will deploy 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, on top of the 70,000 that he and Bush had previously authorized. NATO and other U.S. allies will increase their forces to 50,000."A timeline of US Troops in Afghanistan The Washington Post April 14th 2021 (Not in book)

"Biden argued throughout the process, and would continue to argue, that the war was politically unsustainable at home. I thought he was wrong and that if the president remained steadfast and played his cards carefully, he could sustain even an unpopular war. Bush had done that with a far more unpopular war in Iraq and with both houses of Congress in the hands of the Democrats. The key was showing that we were being successful militarily, at some point announcing a drawdown of forces and being able to show that the end was in sight" Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, (New York: Knopf, 2014) Page 342

"A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday morning indicates that 39 percent of Americans favor the war in Afghanistan, with 58 percent opposed to the mission. Support is down from 53 percent in April, marking the lowest level since the start of the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks." Steinhauser, “Poll: Support for Afghan War at All-time Low,” CNN Politics, September 15, 2009

"A former British Army officer has claimed the Special Air Service (SAS) killed innocent Afghan civilians during night raids on their homes after ignoring warnings they were targeting the wrong people. Captain Mike Martin has told The Sunday Times how he expressed severe misgivings about the “flawed” intelligence used to justify the raids during top secret “board meetings” in which SAS targets were identified. He said: “They [the SAS] would go in and kill members of a family based on faulty intelligence. The next morning there would be people going, ‘What was going on last night? You just murdered a whole family

… ‘Army apology’ for killing of four Afghans

The British Army is said to have apologised to the family of four Afghan men who were shot dead by special forces soldiers during a night raid on their home in a village near Lashkar Gah in February 2011. Two of the victims are alleged to have been handcuffed before being killed. A family member, who found his father slumped against a wall, and a local official told The Sunday Times they were visited by British officers who they claim admitted the men had been wrongly targeted. “They just kept saying they were very, very sorry,” the official said. The Ministry of Defence declined to comment." SAS ‘Murderers’ Ignored Warning of Wrong Targets in Afghanistan,” Sunday Times, July 9, 2017

"The gamble here is that once Afghans see the semblance of a state taking hold in Marjah, rank-and-file Taliban will begin to take more seriously the offers that Mr. Karzai and the West are dangling to buy them off. Enticed by the offer of some political role in Afghan society — and a regular paycheck — they will think twice about trying to recapture the town. “We think many of the foot soldiers are in it for the money, not the ideology,” one British official said recently. “We need to test the proposition that it’s cheaper to enrich them a little than to fight them every spring and summer.” A Test For The Meaning Of Victory In Afghanistan New York Times Feb 13th 2010

"According to the United Nations, the war-torn nation provides 90 percent of the world's supply of opium poppy, the bright, flowery crop that transforms into one of the most addictive drugs in existence… The U.S. has spent $8.4 billion in counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan. But opium output keeps rising: Fifteen years ago, Afghanistan accounted for just 70 percent of global illicit opium production" Elizabeth Chuck, “As Heroin Use Grows in US, Poppy Crops Thrive in Afghanistan,” NBC News, July 7, 2015

"Certain reconstruction projects such as improved irrigation, roads, and agricultural assistance can actually lead to increased opium cultivation. SIGAR found that affordable deep-well technology turned 200,000 hectares of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land over the past decade. Due to relatively high opium prices and the rise of an inexpensive, skilled, and mobile labor force, much of this newly arable land is dedicated to opium cultivation. Poppy-growing provinces that were once declared “poppy free” have seen a resurgence in cultivation" High Risk List,” Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, December 2014

"As a former NATO official with years of experience in Kandahar puts it, "You have essentially a criminal enterprise in the guise of government, using us [NATO forces] as its enforcing arm." As a result, says this official, who asked not to be identified, "the people are turning to the Taliban as the only means of protection and outlet for their anger."... Antinarcotics experts in Kabul say that while they have no evidence linking the President's half brother to drug trafficking, he and his relatives have sway over top police officers in Kandahar and Helmand province who are alleged to have ensured the safe passage of drug shipments along the roads to Iran and Pakistan.

International observers and diplomats in Kabul say Wali Karzai retains close ties with units of the U.S. special forces and the CIA in Kandahar. Last October, the New York Times alleged that Wali Karzai had been on the CIA payroll for the past eight years, a charge he denied when speaking to TIME. "I see these people, I talk to them in security meetings, but I have no control," he said. But TIME's sources insist that Wali Karzai in the past has threatened to call down NATO air strikes or arrange night raids by U.S. special forces on tribal elders who defied him. Says a former NATO official: "Most of our intelligence comes directly or indirectly from him. We really didn't see this dynamic because we were so focused on the enemy." Tim McGirk, “A US Stumbling Block in Kandahar: Karzai’s Brother,” Time, March 19, 2010

"More than ever, Afghan government officials have become directly involved in the opium trade, expanding their competition with the Taliban beyond politics and into a struggle for control of the drug traffic and revenue. At the local level, the fight itself can often look like a turf war between drug gangs, even as American troops are being pulled back into the battle on the government’s behalf, particularly in Helmand, in southern Afghanistan."There are phases of government complicity, starting with accommodation of the farmers and then on to cooperation with them,” said David Mansfield, a researcher who conducted more than 15 years of fieldwork on Afghan opium. “The last is predation, where the government essentially takes over the business entirely.”... “Over the years, I have seen the central government, the local government and the foreigners all talk very seriously about poppy,” said Hakim Angar, a former two-time police chief of Helmand Province. “In practice, they do nothing, and behind the scenes, the government makes secret deals to enrich themselves.” Azam Ahmed, “Tasked with Combating Opium, Afghan Officials Profit from It,” New York Times, February 15, 2016

"VIENNA, 21 June (UN Information Service) - A survey on Drug Use in Afghanistan, issued today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), shows that around one million Afghans (age 15-64) suffer from drug addiction. At eight per cent of the population, this rate is twice the global average "After three decades of war-related trauma, unlimited availability of cheap narcotics and limited access to treatment have created a major, and growing, addiction problem in Afghanistan," said UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa. "The human face of Afghanistan's drug problem is not only seen on the streets of Moscow, London or Paris. It is in the eyes of its own citizens, dependent on a daily dose of opium and heroin above all - but also cannabis, painkillers and tranquilizers," said Mr. Costa. "Many Afghans are taking drugs as a kind of self-medication against the hardships of life. Significantly, many of them began taking drugs as migrants or refugees in camps in Iran and Pakistan," UNODC Reports Major, and Growing, Drug Abuse in Afghanistan,” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, June 21, 2010

Carlotta Gall, “Night Raids Curbing Taliban, but Afghans Cite Civilian Toll,” New York Times, July 8, 2011

American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against insurgents in several parts of Afghanistan… The emergence of the militias, which took some leaders in Kabul by surprise, has so encouraged the American and Afghan officials that they are planning to spur the growth of similar armed groups across the Taliban heartland… The American and Afghan officials say they are hoping the plan, called the Community Defense Initiative, will bring together thousands of gunmen to protect their neighborhoods from Taliban insurgents. Already there are hundreds of Afghans who are acting on their own against the Taliban, officials say. The endeavor represents one of the most ambitious and one of the riskiest plans for regaining the initiative against the Taliban, who are fighting more vigorously than at any time since 2001…“The idea is to get people to take responsibility for their own security,” said a senior American military official in Kabul, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “In many places they are already doing that.”Dexter Filkins, “Afghan Militias Battle Taliban with Aid of US,” New York Times, November 21, 2009 (Quote not in book)

"JSOC’s success in targeting the right homes, businesses and individuals was only ever about 50 percent, according to two senior commanders. They considered this rate a good one." Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, “‘Top Secret America’: A Look at the Military’s Joint Special Operations Command,” Washington Post, September 2, 2011

"A Times investigation suggests that Nato’s claims are either wilfully false or, at best, misleading. More than a dozen survivors, officials, police chiefs and a religious leader interviewed at and around the scene of the attack maintain that the perpetrators were US and Afghan gunmen. The identity and status of the soldiers is unknown. The raid came more than a fortnight after the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan issued new guidelines designed to limit the use of night raids. Special forces and Western intelligence agencies that run covert operations in Afghanistan have been criticised for night raids based on dubious or false intelligence leading to civilian casualties… Three women crouching in a hallway behind him were hit by the same volley of fire. Bibi Shirin, 22, had four children under the age of 5. Bibi Saleha, 37, had 11 children. Both of them, according to their relatives, were pregnant. They were killed instantly." Jerome Starkey, “Nato ‘Covered Up’ Botched Night Raid in Afghanistan That Killed Five,” Times of London, March 13, 2010 (Quote not in book)

"Potential negative effects of HVT operations include increasing insurgent support, causing a government to neglect other aspects of its counterinsurgency strategy, provoking insurgents to alter strategy or organization in ways that favor the insurgents, strengthening an armed group’s popular support with the population, radicalizing an insurgent group’s remaining leaders, and creating a vacuum into which more radical groups can enter. HVT operations may, by eroding the “rules of the game” between the government and insurgents, escalate the level of violence in a conflict, which may or may not be in a government’s interest."

"The Coalition has led a sustained effort since 2001 to target Taliban leaders, but the government’s limited influence outside of Kabul has impeded integration of high-value targeting (HVT) efforts with other military and nonmilitary counterinsurgency elements, such as reconciliation programs. Afghan Government corruption and lack of unity, insufficient strength of Afghan and NATO security forces, and the country’s endemic lawlessness have constrained the effectiveness of these counterinsurgency elements. Senior Taliban leaders’ use of sanctuary in Pakistan has also complicated the HVT effort. Moreover, the Taliban has a high overall ability to replace lost leaders, a centralized but flexible command and control overlaid with egalitarian Pashtun structures, and good succession planning and bench strength, especially at the middle levels, according to clandestine and U.S. military reporting" Best Practices in Counterinsurgency,” CIA, posted by Wikileaks, July 7, 2009 Page 9

"The … inescapable truth asserts that merely killing insurgents usually serves to multiply enemies rather than subtract them. This counterintuitive dynamic is common in many guerrilla conflicts and is especially relevant in the revenge-prone Pashtun communities whose cooperation military forces seek to earn and maintain. The Soviets experienced this reality in the 1980s, when despite killing hundreds of thousands of Afghans, they faced a larger insurgency near the end of the war than they did at the beginning." Michael T. Flynn et al., “Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan,” Center for a New American Security, January 4, 2010 Page 8

"With an average of an assassination a day and a suicide bombing every second or third day, insurgents have greatly increased the level of violence in Afghanistan, and have become by far the biggest killers of civilians here, the United Nations said. … The most striking change has been in suicide bombings, whose numbers have tripled this year compared with 2009. Such attacks now take place an average of three times a week compared with once a week before. In addition, two of three of those suicide attacks are considered “complex,” in which attackers use a suicide bomb as well as other weapons" Rod Nordland, “Violence Up Sharply in Afghanistan,” New York Times, June 19, 2010

"The governor of Afghanistan's Kunar province said Sunday that 64 people, including some civilians, were killed in a joint operation by NATO's International Security Assistance Force and Afghan security forces over the past few days."

"According to the Washington Post, Petraeus addressed the issue during a meeting with Afghan officials Sunday at the presidential palace. The newspaper cited unnamed Afghan officials in the meeting as saying Petraeus said parents may have purposely burned their children to make it seem like they were victims of the U.S. air strikes. Petraeus said no such thing, according to a statement from the top ISAF spokesman in Afghanistan, Rear Adm. Greg Smith."At a Sunday NSC (National Security Council) meeting, General Petraeus never said children's hands and feet were purposely burned by their families in order to create a civilian casualty event. Rather, he said the injuries to the children appeared inconsistent with the types of munitions used," Smith said in a statement.

He said Petraeus did say in the meeting that he had an idea how the children were burned. "The burns to their hands and feet may have been the result of discipline sometimes handed out to Afghan children. Regrettably this is customary among some Afghan fathers as a way of dealing with children who misbehave" Tension Between Petraeus, Afghans over Airstrike, Children,” CNN, February 22, 2011

"Nine boys collecting firewood to heat their homes in the eastern Afghanistan mountains were killed by NATO helicopter gunners who mistook them for insurgents, according to a statement on Wednesday by NATO, which apologized for the mistake. The boys, who were 9 to 15 years old, were attacked on Tuesday in what amounted to one of the war’s worst cases of mistaken killings by foreign-led forces. The victims included two sets of brothers. A 10th boy survived… We were almost done collecting the wood when suddenly we saw the helicopters come,” said Hemad, who, like many Afghans, has only one name. “There were two of them. The helicopters hovered over us, scanned us and we saw a green flash from the helicopters. Then they flew back high up, and in a second round they hovered over us and started shooting. They fired a rocket which landed on a tree. The tree branches fell over me and shrapnel hit my right hand and my side.”

General Petraeus pledged to investigate the attack and to take disciplinary action if appropriate. “We are deeply sorry for this tragedy and apologize to the members of the Afghan government, the people of Afghanistan and, most importantly, the surviving family members of those killed by our actions,” he said. “These deaths should have never happened.” It was the third instance in two weeks in which the Afghan government has accused NATO of killing civilians. NATO strongly disputes one of those reports, but another the killing of an Afghan Army soldier and his family in Nangarhar Province on Feb. 20 was also described as an accident." Alissa J. Rubin and Sangar Rahimi, “Nine Afghan Boys Collecting Firewood Killed by NATO Helicopters,”New York Times, March 2, 2011 (Extended Quote)

"Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23, told a military court he had helped to kill three unarmed Afghans. "The plan was to kill people, sir," he told an army judge in Fort Lea, near Seattle, after his plea… This week the German magazine Der Spiegel published three pictures that showed American soldiers, including Morlock, posing with the corpse of a young Afghan boy as if it were a hunting trophy.

Some soldiers apparently kept body parts of their victims, including a skull, as souvenirs. In a statement issued in response to the publication of the photos the US army apologised to the families of the dead. "[The photos are] repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States army," the statement said. Morlock has told investigators that the murders took place between January and May last year and were instigated by an officer in his unit, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs. He described how elaborate plans were made to pick out civilian targets, kill them and then make their deaths look like they were insurgents. In his confession Morlock described shooting a victim as Gibbs tossed a grenade at him. "We identify a guy. Gibbs makes a comment, like, you know, you guys wanna wax this guy or not," Morlock said in the confession" Paul Harris, “US Soldier Admits Killing Unarmed Afghans for Sport,” Guardian, March 23, 2011

In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, Gibbs recruited other soldiers to murder civilians he called "savages" after he took over command of a US army squad in Afghanistan's Kandahar province in November 2009. Prosecutors described Gibbs as hunting innocent Afghans "for sport", a view reinforced by the staff sergeant's statement likening the amputation of body parts as trophies to collecting antlers from a deer. Gibbs and other soldiers collected fingers, teeth and other body parts as trophies. They also took photographs of themselves posing next to their dead victims. In one of the pictures Morlock is seen lifting Mudin's head by its hair for the camera and smiling. The soldiers also took ghoulish pictures of themselves with dead combatants.

The jury of five soldiers was shown pages of Facebook messages sent by Winfield to his parents in which he described how Gibbs led the killings. In one exchange with his father Winfield recounted Mudin's killing

"An innocent dude. They planned and went through with it. I knew about it. Didn't believe they were going to do it. Then it happened. Pretty much the whole platoon knows about it. It's OK with all of them pretty much. Except me. I want to do something about it. The only problem is I don't feel safe here telling anyone. The guy who did it is the golden boy in the company who can never do anything wrong and it's my word against theirs," Winfield wrote. Winfield later told investigators: "[Gibbs] likes to kill things. He is pretty much evil incarnate. I mean, I have never met a man who can go from one minute joking around, then mindless killings."

The court martial was told that Gibbs had six skull tattoos on his leg to mark up each of his "kills" from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.In his testimony Gibbs denied responsibility for the killings, saying the victims all died in legitimate combat. But he did admit slicing off body parts from Afghans, including the fingers of a man, and keeping them or giving them to other soldiers as trophies. In my mind I was there to take the antlers off the deer. You have to come to terms with what you're doing. Shooting people is not an easy thing to do," said Gibbs." Chris McGreal, “‘Kill Team’ US Platoon Commander Gui lty of Afghan Murders,” Guardian, November 10, 2011

"A] review of internal Army records and investigative files obtained by Rolling Stone, including dozens of interviews with members of Bravo Company compiled by military investigators, indicates that the dozen infantrymen being portrayed as members of a secretive “kill team” were operating out in the open, in plain view of the rest of the company. Far from being clandestine, as the Pentagon has implied, the murders of civilians were common knowledge among the unit and understood to be illegal by “pretty much the whole platoon,” according to one soldier who complained about them. Staged killings were an open topic of conversation, and at least one soldier from another battalion in the 3,800-man Stryker Brigade participated in attacks on unarmed civilians. “The platoon has a reputation,” a whistle-blower named Pfc. Justin Stoner told the Army Criminal Investigation Command. “They have had a lot of practice staging killings and getting away with it" Mark Boal, “The Kill Team: How US Soldiers in Afghanistan Murdered Innocent Civilians,” Rolling Stone, March 27, 2011

"The mission found “compelling” evidence that 125 detainees, or 46 per cent, of the 273 detainees interviewed who had been in NDS detention experienced interrogation techniques at the hands of NDS officials that constituted torture, and that torture is practiced “systematically” in a number of NDS detention facilities throughout Afghanistan,” states the report" Systematic Torture in Afghan Detention Facilities – UN Report,” UN News Centre, October 10, 2001 (Quote not in book)

"I think at most, we’re looking at maybe 50 to 100, maybe less. There’s no question that the main location of al Qaeda is in tribal areas of Pakistan.” CIA Director Leon Panetta: Serious Problems With Afghanistan War but Progress Being Made, ABC News JACK DATE June 27, 2010

"Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a member of the Special Forces, had helped to beat up the Afghan militia commander, Abdul Rahman, in 2011 after he abducted a boy and kept him chained to his bed as a sex slave. Sergeant Martland later told Army officials that he and a Special Forces captain, Dan Quinn, “felt that morally we could no longer stand by” and allow the Afghan local police “to commit atrocities.”

After the episode, Captain Quinn was relieved of his command; he withdrew from Afghanistan and later left the military. But Sergeant Martland was put under an Army-wide review program that trims the number of its noncommissioned officers when their military records show performance or conduct that is “inconsistent” with standards. An initial decision to forcibly discharge him by Nov. 1, 2015, was delayed; in March 2016, the Army said it had postponed the discharge decision again, until May 1, to allow time for Sergeant Martland to appeal…

The beating and its effect on the two men’s Army careers brought scrutiny to a policy of instructing American soldiers and Marines not to intervene in cases of child sex abuse by their Afghan allies. In an article in The New York Times last year, the spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, said of the United States’ military policy, “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” He added that “there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.” An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war." Christine Houser, “Green Beret Who Beat Up Afghan Officer for Raping Boy Can Stay in Army,” New York Times, April 29, 2016

"Senator McCAIN. So in your view, if we left Afghanistan with no residual force, we could see a replay of the Iraq scenario?

General DUNFORD. Senator If we leave at the end of 2014, the Afghan security forces will begin to deteriorate. The security environment will begin to deteriorate, and I think the only debate is the pace of that deterioration.” The Situation in Afghanistan: Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Second Session, March 12, 2014 Page 19

"The basing strategy with an open-ended American military presence would ensure sufficient forces to defend important population centers, retain bases critical for counterterrorism, and maintain a U.S. foothold in Central Asia. Although little has been explicitly written, a range of arguments imply that some strategists are thinking seriously about a semi-permanent Central Asian foothold from which to counter terrorism, monitor developments ranging from increased influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and potentially pressure the more vulnerable flanks in any future contingency with China, Iran, or Russia… The downside, of course, is that the United States would necessarily accept a state of long-term instability in Afghanistan because a permanent U.S. presence in Afghanistan will incentivize regional actors to competitively back proxies. For example, they could support new militant groups and inject new capabilities into the conflict, similar to what the United States did in the 1980s against the Soviet Union. Moreover, the Afghan government’s acquiescence to a permanent foreign occupier could very well weaken its own legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan public. Finally, without alternative lines of communication, a sustained American presence in Afghanistan would only deepen its dependence upon Pakistan, frustrating U.S. cooperation with India as a balance against China." Sameer Lalwani, “Four Ways Forward in Afghanistan,” Foreign Affairs, May 25, 2017

"KABUL — United Nations officials Thursday condemned an airstrike by an unmanned U.S. military aircraft a day earlier that they said killed 15 civilians and wounded at least 12 in the insurgent-plagued eastern Afghan province of Nangahar. They called for a complete investigation." Pamela Constable, “UN Officials Criticize Fatal US Airstrike in Afghanistan,” Washington Post, September 29, 2016 (Quote not in book)

"Reports of “ghost” soldiers and police continue to surface. In January 2016, media reported that the price of maintaining ghost soldiers on the rolls was being paid on the battlefield, as the number of troops fighting alongside “ghost soldiers” is a fraction of the men required for the fight. In June 2016, the Helmand Province police chief claimed half of the Helmand police consisted of ghost personnel. In late July, General Nicholson sent a letter to the Minister of Interior outlining the actions required to reduce or eliminate ghost police as a condition for continued U.S. support." High-Risk List, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, January 2017 Page 18

"The ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] has not yet been capable of securing all of Afghanistan and has lost territory to the insurgency. As of August 28, 2016, USFOR-A [U.S. Forces-Afghanistan] reported that only 63.4% of the country’s districts were under Afghan government control or influence a reduction from the 72% as of November 27, 2015" High-Risk List, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, January 2017 Page 2

"SIGAR’s data call in preparation for this quarterly report posed other questions regarding travel and security in Afghanistan that State declined to answer, saying they were internal operational matters and not part of reconstruction activities. However, SIGAR is concerned that U.S. officials, whether at State, USAID, Justice, Treasury, Commerce, or elsewhere, cannot oversee the billions of dollars the United States is dedicating to Afghan reconstruction if, for the most part, they cannot leave the U.S. embassy compound."Quarterly Report, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, July 30, 2017

"The United Nations reported today that Afghan hostilities in 2015 left more than 3,500 civilians dead, including an unprecedented number of children – one in four casualties over the past year was a child – and nearly 7,500 others wounded, making this the highest number of civilian casualties recorded… Civilian deaths and injuries caused by pro-Government forces caused 17 per cent of civilian casualties – 14 per cent from Afghan security forces, two per cent from international military forces, and one per cent from pro-Government armed groups. The report documents increased civilian casualties caused by pro-Government forces, including during ground engagements, aerial operations, and the activities of pro-Government armed groups" Afghan Casualties Hit Record High 11,000 in 2015 – UN Report,” UN News Centre, February 2016

"Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It’s a war, and in war, they kill people. They’re killing all Muslims.

Judge: Now we're not talking about them; we’re talking about you. Shahzad: Well, I am part of that. I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. And, on behalf of that, I’m avenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their own people, but they don’t care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die. Similarly, in Gaza Strip, somebody has to go and live with the family whose house is bulldozed by the Israeli bulldozer. There’s a lot of aggression…

Judge: I see.

Shahzad: We Muslims are one community. We’re not divided.

Judge: Well, I don’t want to get drawn into a discussion of the Qur’an."Lorraine Adams and Ayesha Nasir, “Inside the Mind of the Times Square Bomber,” Guardian, September 18, 2010

"This past week, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly told investigators that he and his brother set off bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in part because of their opposition to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a Marine who fought in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2010, the news made me wonder: Had my war brought the horrors of battle home?... I deployed to Afghanistan believing my presence in that country would help stop attacks such as Boston’s from happening. But instead, my war has spilled over, striking the city where my 22-year-old brother goes to school and where my mom, until recently, felt perfectly safe eating lunch outdoors.

The Tsarnaev brothers aren’t the first alleged terrorists to cite U.S. military intervention in other countries as a reason for targeting civilians, and they won’t be the last. Despite our best efforts and valor, I wonder, have America’s wars made the homeland less safe? Sure, we’ve killed and captured thousands of radicals who wanted to harm Americans. But in doing so, have we created more?... While I was deployed, I went to bed at night believing that I was protecting the homeland because coming after me and my fellow Marines was a much easier commute for those so hell-bent on killing Americans. But that argument no longer makes sense if my war has inspired enemies at home." Thomas Gibbons-Neff, “I Could Justify Fighting in Afghanistan — Until the Boston Bombing,” Washington Post, April 26, 2013

"The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews." Scott Wilson et al., “Boston Bombing Suspect Cites US Wars as Motivation, Officials Say,” Washington Post, April 23, 2013

"Everybody who was in the bathroom who survived could hear him talking to 911, saying the reason why he's doing this is because he wanted America to stop bombing his country," she said… "The motive is very clear to us who are laying in our own blood and other people's blood, who are injured, who were shot," Ms Carter said. "He wasn't going to stop killing people until he was killed, until he felt like his message got out there." Orlando Shooting: Omar Mateen ‘Wanted US to Stop Bombing Afghanistan,’ Survivor Says,” ABC News (Australia), June 14, 2016

"SUSPECT: No. Because you have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. They are killing a lot of innocent people. What am I to do here when my people are getting killed over there. You get what I'm saying?

NEGOTIATOR: I do. I completely get what you're saying. What I'm trying to do is prevent anybody else from getting -

SUSPECT: You need to stop the U.S. air strikes. They need to stop the U.S. air strikes, okay?

NEGOTIATOR: I understand.

SUSPECT: They need to stop the U.S. air strikes. You have to tell the U.S. government to stop bombing. They are killing too many children, they are killing too many women, okay?

NEGOTIATOR: I understand that. Here is why I'm here right now. I'm with the Orlando police. Can you tell me what you know about what's going on tonight?

"We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times. We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote." Statement by the President on the Terrorist Attacks in Iran,” June 7, 2017

"In his last official act of business in 2011, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act from his vacation rental in Kailua, Hawaii. In a statement, the president said he did so with reservations about key provisions in the law - including a controversial component that would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge." Yunji De Nies, “With Reservations, Obama Signs Act to Allow Detention of Citizens,” ABC News, December 31, 2011

"We’ve spent trillions of dollars overseas, while allowing our own infrastructure to fall into total disrepair and decay. In the Middle East, we’ve spent as of four weeks ago, $6 trillion. Think of it. And by the way, the Middle East is in … much worse shape than it was 15 years ago. If our presidents would have gone to the beach for 15 years, we would be in much better shape than we are right now, that I can tell you. Be a hell of a lot better. We could have rebuilt our country three times with that money" Donald Trump, “Remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland,” DCPD-201700137 (February 24, 2017) CNN

"We’re up against an enemy that knows that they cannot win at the ballot box, and you think — we have to sometimes remind ourselves of that reality. That’s why they use bombs, because ballots would ensure they never had a role to play, and based upon that foundation, that they cannot win the support, the affection, the respect of the Afghan people. We will stand by them. They’ve had a long, hard fight … and the fight goes on. But the bottom line is we’re not going to surrender civilization to people who cannot win at the ballot box." Press Availability with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne,” delivered in Sydney, Australia, June 5, 2017


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