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U.S. Role in Afghanistan

In 1989, Director William Webster and his Afghanistan team celebrated the end of a decade-long, multi-billion dollar war which had been the largest, "most successful" covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation ever . Afghanistan was critical to the U. S. because of the need to transport oil from the Persian Gulf region, which required access to the ports of the Indian Ocean and in the Persian Gulf itself. For this reason, the U. S. sought strong, friendly ties with countries in the region, such as Pakistan and Iran. Until 1979, the U.S. had been able to protect its interests in the region through the Shah of Iran, whom it supported with military assistance in return for military bases and intelligence facilities in Iran. This allowed the U.S. to safeguard oil supplies for the so-called "free world" while at the same time keeping a check on Soviet influence in the region. Once the Shah was gone, the situation changed dramatically.

Another reason, says Wright, for the U. S. role in Afghanistan was to stop Soviet expansionism . Frustrating them in the war would at the very least divert their resources from expansion in other parts of the world. Also, the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan was the first time they had sent troops beyond the confines of the Warsaw Pact, and the U. S. felt they should be punished for this act. To do this, the U. S. even went so far as to arm the least likely candidate to lead a post-war Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was the anti-American Islamic fundamentalist leader of the Party of Islam known for his sheer brutality and inhumanity. The U. S. tried to explain this away as a concession to the Pakistani Interservices Intelligence agency, who were funneling CIA-sponsored supplies to the rebels. Between 1973 and 1990, Afghanistan went through a wave of changes, with coups, the intervention of 100,000 Soviet forces, and the expatriation of a third of its population . Relations...

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U.S. Role in Afghanistan. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:26, February 18, 2019, from