Operation Cyclone: ​​The US Role in Creating the Taliban

  • Guillermo D. Olmo @BBCgolmo
  • BBC News World

Reagan, with Mujahedin

Credit, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Ronald Reagan even received leaders of the mujahedin, a US-funded rebel group to fight the Soviet government

In the United States, they were even classified as “freedom fighters.” But calling them Islamic fundamentalist guerrillas might be more appropriate.

Afghan rebel groups resisted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan for years with the support of Washington, which provided them with weapons and money aimed at weakening the power of the Soviet Union, their rival superpower.

As revealed by intelligence documents, journalistic investigations and testimonies of protagonists years later, the US strategy was to make the Soviet Union find itself trapped in Afghanistan, in a morass that consumed lives, money and resources.

The purpose was to make the Soviets experience something similar to what the Americans experienced in the Vietnam War.