Brzezinski came up with a plan to recruit Muslim fighters not only from Islamic countries around the globe, but also from Muslim minorities in other countries including the west. They would be motivated by the concept of Islamic Jihad; believing that God had ordered them to defeat the Godless Russian invaders. Their earthly reward would be glory, good pay and massive earnings through drug trade for the leaders; while in case of death they would be Shaheeds (martyrs) and would gain paradise! The CIA would co-ordinate the global effort and provide special forces (green berets and SEALs/SAS) to train Islamic Jihadi leaders and instructors all over the globe; and along with Saudi and Egyptian help recruit and dispatch these Islamic fighters to Pakistan’s ISI .The USA and Saudi Arabia would also finance and equip the entire war effort.
PAKISTAN IS THE LAUNCHING PAD
by Hassan Rizvi
THE OUTLINE PLAN
Brzezinski came up with a plan to recruit Muslim fighters not only from Islamic countries around the globe, but also from Muslim minorities in other countries including the west. They would be motivated by the concept of Islamic Jihad; believing that God had ordered them to defeat the Godless Russian invaders. Their earthly reward would be glory, good pay and massive earnings through drug trade for the leaders; while in case of death they would be Shaheeds (martyrs) and would gain paradise!
The CIA would co-ordinate the global effort and provide special forces (green berets and SEALs/SAS) to train Islamic Jihadi leaders and instructors all over the globe; and along with Saudi and Egyptian help recruit and dispatch these Islamic fighters to Pakistan’s ISI .The USA and Saudi Arabia would also finance and equip the entire war effort. Pakistan’s ISI (along with its special forces SSG) would be responsible for the recruitment and training of local Jihadi fighters, as well as the training of those arriving from outside. Moreover Pakistan would serve as the sole pipeline for the operational control, re-supply and logistics including payments to all fighters within the theatre of operations.
It will be revealing at this stage to see which particular countries were relevant to this US plan; and why?
Anwer Sadat, a close ally of the Americans had been isolated in the Muslim world ever since he made his peace treaty with Israel. The Al Azhar University in Cairo was recognized throughout the Muslim world as the foremost religious institution. The Muslim Brotherhood also had branches throughout the world, and like Pakistan’s Jamat-e-Islami advocated the establishment of an ideal Islamic state based on the teachings of the Holy Quran. The support of Anwer Sadat was vital for gaining access to Egyptian bases as regional collection and dispatch points of arms and equipment to Mujahideen in Afghanistan; while the support of two above mentioned institutions was the key to raising a huge army of Egyptian fighters for the envisioned global Jihad. In addition it was hoped that Anwer Sadat’s identification with the Global Jihad might serve to end his isolation in the Muslim world.
It was the bride Brzezinski must woo at all costs if his global Jihad was to succeed. Already engaged in covert operations against Afghanistan for the last five years, it had the required intelligence already in place. Moreover being the country most jeopardized by the Russian invasion, it could be counted on to be the most zealous in the fight. The Jamat-e-Islami founded by Maulana Mahdoodi had a wide following in Pakistan –and had also branches world wide. The Jamat also advocated the use of militancy for the achievement of its aims if necessary, and had prepared many of its followers to fight in Afghanistan as well as Kashmir. Enlisting its support would greatly facilitate the recruitment drive both in Pakistan as well as globally.
We have already discussed the important role it played in the Safari Club both with regards to spreading of the teachings of Wahabi radicalism world wide, as well as the financing of covert operations. It enjoyed enormous respect as an ally amongst all sections of Pakistanis. Moreover as the custodians of the Holy Kaaba it commanded respect throughout the Muslim world. Its importance both as financers as well as enablers of massive recruitment worldwide, in support of global Jihad could never be under estimated.
Both as a regional power, as well as a country with which Pakistan had close ties, getting China on board for any major undertaking was unavoidable. Moreover its large Muslim population and Russian origin weaponry would be invaluable in provision of both recruits and equipment which could not be pinned on the Americans.
But US relations with Pakistan were at low ebb because of a US anti-nuclear proliferation embargo.
So Assistant secretary of State Warren Christopher was sent on a mission to woo the bride, soon Brzezinski would follow with the formal proposal. He would go first to Egypt then Pakistan; while US Defense secretary Harold Brown would go to China.
THE INITIAL US EFFORT
Soon after Warren Christopher’s wooing mission to Pakistan; in January 1980 Brzezinski visited Egypt.
From that date the airbase at Qena- already in US use for reconnaissance flights against Iran – was also made available for airlifting supplies to Pakistan. Later Aswan was also made available, and Egypt started sending it’s own out of date surplus Russian equipment for use by the Mujahideen. An old arms factory near Halwan was converted to produce copies of Russian weapons for dispatch.
Later Representative Charlie Wilson would travel to Israel to meet W. Zvi Rafiah; and Israel would also feed captured Egyptian, Syrian and PLO equipment-including T-55 tanks- into this supply route.
Over time much useful equipment including artillery and mortar shells and even Strela missiles were sent. By summer of 1980 Cairo west airbase was also made available; and by end of 1980 US special warfare troops (SEALs) were based in Egypt to impart training to Egyptian instructors-including Al-Zawahari- who in turn would train the Egyptian recruits.
From Egypt Brzezinski flew straight to Pakistan. Pakistan viewed the Russian invasion of Afghanistan as a God sent opportunity to strike a tough bargaining position. The ISI chief Akhtar A. Rehman was keenly in favor of using Afghanistan as a Vietnam for the Russians, yet Zia was determined to strike a tough deal. He asked for and got the US to turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s perusal of its nuclear ambitions.
He also got the US to accept that all arms, supplies, finance and training must be provided through Pakistan and not directly by CIA.
Later when US coordinated aid started flowing Zia insisted on absolute adherence to this condition. He further specified that the countries supporting must maintain absolute secrecy and repeatedly deny if necessary any shipment. Second the arms were to start immediately and be sent to Pakistan by fastest means available, but not less then two plane loads per week. Third the remaining supplies must be regular, and could come overland (China and Iran) or via sea from others (USA, UK, France, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia etc.)
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