reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas
SKL, You appear to be confusing a war with an operation within that war, in the same way that many conflate bin Laden to equate with Afghanistan.
Operation Cyclone was a CIA Op to arm, train and fund Afghani mijahideen. It was run for the most part out of Peshawar, with some cross-border ops for
gathering intel, and some training in country. Most of the materiel was delivered to muj agents in Pakistan, (notably in the still problematic
Waziristan area), and taken across the fence by muj, on things sometimes as mundane as donkey trains.
A lot of the funding was laundered through the Saudis and Pakistani ISI, which was also problematic. ISI skimmed more than their share, and claimed
more power and control than they really had a right to. CIA was, for the most part, content to let that slide, as part of the plausible deniability of
the op, which turned out in the end not to have been all that plausible OR deniable.
Bin Laden was not an Afghani Muj, he was a foreigner (there were lots of foreign muj in those days). He was in control of a small contingent of other
foreigners, and brought his own money (and even some equipment - construction equipment). He actually refused any funding that he thought may have had
it's origin in America as 'tainted'. For the most part, he provided his own funding. He spent some time around Jalalbad, and actually participated
in the 'improvements' to the cave complexes in and around Tora Bora and the Milawa Valley which gave the Soviets such headaches, and which the US
seems to have rolled right over.
I reckon what I'm trying to say is that bin Laden WAS there, but was not Afghani muj, nor was he Pakistani muj which the ISI formed the core of the
Taliban from. He was 'in' the war ( mostly directing, financing, and construction, not so much actually getting his hands dirty with fighting), but
shied away from Operation Cyclone, and tried to pull his own freight. The issues of bin Laden and Operation Cyclone are two entirely different issues,
and to a degree, the Taliban and Cyclone were separate issues as well, but in the latter case there was some indirect bleed through due to ISI
[edit on 2010/8/27 by nenothtu]