Ronald Reagan (President from 1981 -1989) and Pakistan’s ISI created the Taliban,
From Politics 116 at Mt Holyoke College
The Creation of Taliban goes back to 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. In 1973, The Soviet Union brought their soldiers into Afghanistan claiming to rebuild the crushing economy. However, the Soviet was resented by the Mujahidin (from whom the Taliban evolved from). At the same time, the Soviet Union and United States were engaged in a cold war. The U.S. was genuinely interested in counter power against the Soviet Union. Thus, Soviet Union’s entrance in Afghanistan signaled the Soviet’s increase in power and strength gaining more power and strength so the United States decided to intervene.Because the United States did not want to see the Soviet Union take control over Central Asia, the U.S. decided to fund troops to fight against the Soviet Union. These troops were called the Mujahedeen. The Mujahedeen were armed and supported by several countries including, the U.S., Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Under Reagan’s presidency Congress which was led by Democrats, decided to form a partnership with the ISI which would recruit the Mujahideen with the support of the Pakistani military extreme views of Islam, led the Mujahedeen to fight ferociously against the Soviet Union. these extremist succeeded in driving Soviet militants out (1989). This unforeseen defeat caused the Soviets to lose billions of Dollars, and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union After the war, Pakistan was left alone to deal with the problems associated with the post war. Following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. declared a war against Afghanistan. at this point the U.S. realized the seeds they had sown. Taliban was a creation of the Pakistani intelligence agency (the ISI) but was funded by the U.S. The U.S. provided $3 billion to build this Islamic group by providing provided ammunitions, which they forgot to keep track of after the Soviet war. Thus, the U.S. was taken a back when the millions worth in weapons that they had provided were now being used against them. Since the Taliban was a creation of the Pakistani intelligence agency. Pakistan has been reluctant to fight them. It is said that a lot of Pakistani and other military personal were known to be siding with the Taliban. It has further been said that the U.S. is responsible for providing the Taliban with logistical and military advice, along with military hardware . Therefore the Unites States and Pakistan are accountable for the Creation of Islamic extremist Group called `Taliban’.
The success against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan and the need for further jihad gave rise to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida in 1989. George Bush Sr. who was already involved with Saudi support for the Taliban as Vice President under Reagan came into his own as a godfather for Al Qaida as President from 1989-1993. Through the CIA and its many arms, Bush Sr. and Saudi Arabia provided the money and the training. Al Qaida did not become an “enemy” of the US until 2001 when the campaign in Afghanistan was launced in retaliation for the 9/11 atrocities.
BBC (June 2004):
Al-Qaeda, meaning “the base”, was created in 1989 as Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden and his colleagues began looking for new jihads.
The organisation grew out of the network of Arab volunteers who had gone to Afghanistan in the 1980s to fight under the banner of Islam against Soviet Communism. During the anti-Soviet jihad Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Some analysts believe Bin Laden himself had security training from the CIA.
The “Arab Afghans”, as they became known, were battle-hardened and highly motivated. In the early 1990s Al-Qaeda operated in Sudan. After 1996 its headquarters and about a dozen training camps moved to Afghanistan, where Bin Laden forged a close relationship with the Taleban.
The US campaign in Afghanistan starting in late 2001 dispersed the organisation and drove it underground as its personnel were attacked and its bases and training camps destroyed.
It was the US occupation of Iraq and their support for the Shi’ite government of Nouri al-Maliki from 2003 – 2011 which provided the motivation for the Sunni backlash. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was leading an Al Qaida faction and, the Guardian writes, “after the US invasion in 2003, he was quickly drawn into the emerging al-Qaida in Iraq under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, getting involved first in smuggling foreign fighters into Iraq, then later as the “emir” of Rawa, a town near the Syrian border. There, presiding over his own sharia court, he gained a reputation for brutality, publicly executing those suspected of aiding the US-led coalition forces – the same brutality that has become familiar to those living in Syria under his group’s control”. By various accounts he was detained at the US Camp Bucca as a low level prisoner from 2004 either for less than a year or upto 2008.
Possibly he was in detention till 2008, since it is only after 2009 that ISIS takes off and it is only after 2011, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in place, that ISIS expands – violently and explosively – in Syria and Iraq. Obama and Clinton lost interest in Iraq and dropped the ball on ISIS. They (and Saudi Arabia) were so focused on creating regime change in Syria and toppling Assad that they lost sight of the support (money and training) being provide by the US for anti-Assad groups which included ISIS affiliated groups. David Mizner writes:
“The August 5, 2012 DIA report confirms much of what Assad has been saying all along about his opponents both inside and outside Syria,” says “terrorism analyst” Max Abrams.
The report concerns a period in time when the escalating violence in Iraq had ceased to be a prominent topic in the US press and when its coverage of the war in Syria — mirroring the discussion in Washington — focused on the Assad government, not the forces aligned against it. This may be hard to imagine now that ISIS has become the US government’s favorite monster, but during these months President Obama and his team gave major speeches on Syria that didn’t even mention the group.
Even after ISIS took Fallujah in January 2014, discussion of the group in establishment outlets was scarce. It wasn’t until later in 2014 — after continued battlefield victories and heavily publicized beheadings of westerners — that Islamic State became Public Enemy Number 1.
American officials claimed the ascendancy of ISIS had caught American intelligence by surprise. Yet in the 2012 report — which was circulated widely through the US government — the DIA foresaw the creation of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria. It also said that Islamic State of Iraq could “return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi” and declare an “Islamic state” in western Iraq and eastern Syria.
More than that, the report says the creation of an Islamic state was precisely the goal of the foreign governments that support the opposition:
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor) and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
US Defense Intelligence clearly puts the cause for the rise of ISIS on the policy being followed by the US in Syria (by Obama and Clinton), and not primarily on what was happening in Iraq. Mizner again:
While American politicians and pundits have blamed the ascendance of ISIS on former Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki and Assad — or on the removal of American troops from Iraq — the DIA report reminds us that the key event in the rise of ISIS was the corresponding rise of the insurgency in Syria. Brad Hoff of the Levant Report, the first journalist to analyze the DIA report, says it shows that “A nascent Islamic State became a reality only with the rise of the Syrian insurgency . . . there is no mention of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst.”
Maliki warned that the war in Syria could engulf Iraq, yet the United States and its allies kept supporting the insurgency. The American bombing of ISIS, relatively light and sporadic, has only intensified the belief of many Iraqis that the United States doesn’t want to defeat the group.
The US has a well established track record now of creating the very monsters which then becomes their greatest enemies. Obama – in spite of his reputation of over-analysing issues – clearly did not foresee how his inaction in Iraq, and his misguided regime-change actions in Syria, would cause the explosive growth of ISIS. And Clinton, who had little understanding of the complex relations in the Middle East, couldn’t cover for Obama’s blind spots and had no real strategy of her own to bring to the table. Furthermore, Obama and Clinton (and later Kerry) have done little, if anything, to stop ISIS being financed from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
While Trump’s claim that Obama and Clinton “founded” ISIS is not strictly true, there is little doubt that the Obama/Clinton inaction in Iraq, and their misguided actions in Syria, led directly to the growth of ISIS and the current miserable situation in the Middle East. The Obama/Kerry combination has continued with the Assad obsession and their strategies (or lack of strategies) have been largely ineffective against ISIS. It is only Russian intervention which has perhaps turned the tide.