The New Great Game: Part II.4

The Navy SEALs and Green Berets are among the toughest ones in the U.S. military. Their mental conditioning makes them tough enough to attack without any fear. These ace units of US armed forces were additionally deployed to train th Afghan Mujahideen during the 1980’s Afghan war against the Soviets.



 We have already seen how Abdullah Azzam, a CIA agent mentored Osama in setting up his financial and recruitment fronts; and also the main funnel at Peshawer. Azzam also followed this up by expanding the US network to 30 branches. For this reason Slate calls him “the Lenin of international jihad.”

The war lords in Afghanistan recruited their own followers. These were reinforced by fighters from all over the world. In Pakistan the Jamat-e-Islami set up recruitment centers all over the country-including Kashmir.

 Recruitment centers were also opened in many other countries including the Middle East, Turkey, UK, Philippines and China. These were funded by MAK (through CIA and ISI) but operated and run through mosques and Islamic centers in respective countries.


Initially key Pakistani officers and some Afghan Mujahideen leaders were trained by Navy Seals and Green Beret officers at Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia, which is said to be the CIA’s main location for training spies and assets.Other training took place at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Harvey Point, North Carolina, and Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. US consular official Michael Springmann reports fighters from many Middle Eastern nations were getting US visas, apparently to train in the US for the Afghan war.

 Training was imparted in how to detect explosives, surveillance, how to recruit new agents, how to run paramilitary operations, and more. They are taught to use different weapons, including rockets, mortars, missiles, remote-controlled mines and bombs, and sophisticated timers and explosives.

 Guerrilla training was integrated with inspirational Jihad lectures, featuring CIA sponsored speakers. They could be CIA-trained Afghan fighters traveling on a CIA-issued visa; or clean-cut Arabic-speaking Green Beret lecturing on the glory of being ‘warriors of the Lord.’

 People like Azzam, Abdul-Rahman, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, could often turn up as star guest speakers to deliver fiery sermons on themes like ‘Blood and martyrdom are the only way to create a Muslim society’ or ‘the world opposes our objectives, because it is the enemy of Muslims.’ # Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete socio-political ideology, and that this was being violated by the atheistic Soviet invaders who must be killed, and that the Islamic people in Afghanistan are warriors of Allah through Jihad.

 Instructor’s training centers staffed by Green Berets and SEALs were set up in 1980 both in Egypt and Pakistan. Fearing a diplomatic incident, US and British troops rarely ventured into Afghanistan, but up to 1982 the British SAS did provide weapons training even in Afghanistan. After Russian soldiers found the passports of two British instructors in a training camp this was discontinued; and UK enrolled Mujahideen were trained in secret camps in remote parts of Scotland.

 The instructors thus trained were used in turn to train tens of thousands more in camps set up by ISI in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Under NSDD 166, Washington also supported and financed the process of religious indoctrination. The CIA spent $ 51million to create and supply Afghan school children with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to breed radicalism from the grass roots. Nebraska academic Thomas Gouttierre led the textbook project. (see &

 These were filled with talk of Jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, violent images and militant Wahabi teachings. Children were even taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles, and land mines. Mathematics involved posing the children with problems like how many second would it take for a bullet aimed by a Jihadi to crack open the head of an infidel Russian, given the velocity. The primers are so radical that even the Taliban regime would continue using these American-produced books!


The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is closely connected to the CIA’s operations. Prior to the covert operations opium production in Afghanistan and Pakistan was small- and directed to regional markets. There was no local production of heroin, but within two years of the onslaught of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, “the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world’s top heroin producer.” (Alfred McCoy, Drug Fallout: the CIA’s Forty Year Complicity in the Narcotics Trade. The Progressive, 1 August 1997).


 CIA involvement started with a small suggestion in1981. Alexandre de Marenches head of the Safari Club met President Reagan at the White House. He proposed ‘Operation Mosquito’ a joint French-American-ISI operation to produce fake Russian newspapers with articles designed to demoralize Soviet troops. He also suggested US supply of drugs to Soviet soldiers. It is claimed that the idea was rejected, but soon after fake issues of the Soviet army newspaper did appear in Kabul; and also large qualities of cocaine, hashish, opium, and heroin become available to Soviet troops. At that time cocaine was only grown in South America!

 In 1982, a secret memo will exempt the CIA from reporting on drug smuggling conducted by CIA officers or assets. Obviously the CIA wished to use the proceeds of the Afghan drug trade to finance its operations. Alfred McCoy’s study confirms that” Under CIA and ISI protection, Afghan resistance opened heroin labs on the Afghan and Pakistani border. Among the leading heroin manufacturers were Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan leader who received about half of the covert arms that the CIA shipped to Pakistan.

 In 1995 the former CIA Director of this Afghan operation, Mr. Charles Cogan, admitted sacrificing the drug war to fight the Cold War.

“Our main mission was to do as much damage to the Soviets. There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes, but the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan.” (Alfred McCoy, Testimony before the Special Seminar focusing on allegations linking CIA secret operations and drug trafficking-convened February 13, 1997, by Rep. John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus)

 The Pakistan backed Taliban government which came to power in 1996 virtually eliminated this trade, with opium production declining by more than 90 percent.

But in the immediate wake of the US led invasion of Afghanistan, opium production has again increased 33 fold from 185 tons in 2001 under the Taliban to 6100 tons in 2006. In 2007, this was approximately 93% of the global supply of heroin, and valued in excess of 190 billion dollars a year. (Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 6 January 2006)

Next: The Operational Structure of Jihadi groups

Previous II.1 II.2,_II.3,_II.4II.5Next

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