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Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.
Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place.
In many respects, the directive, as described to NBC News, outlined essentially the same war plan that the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon put into action after the Sept. 11 attacks. The administration most likely was able to respond so quickly to the attacks because it simply had to pull the plans “off the shelf,” Miklaszewski said.
WASHINGTON, May 16, 2002 - President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaida two days before Sept. 11 but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. and foreign sources told NBC News.