20 Years Ago, Prior to 9/11: US Preparations for the Invasion of Afghanistan
The Bush administration was planning its invasion of Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks
By Shane Quinn
Global Research, August 06, 2021
As George W. Bush entered the White House on 20 January 2001, having been granted a controversial election victory, his cabinet swiftly drew up a particularly hawkish foreign policy program. This included identifying a number of strategically important states to gain full ascendancy over, through military attack if needs be, and among the first countries selected for invasion was Afghanistan.
Due to America’s declining oil and natural gas stocks, the top priority for president Bush was to increase US influence over rich fossil fuel sources, constructing pipelines, refineries and other such infrastructure.
Contrary to what numerous mainstream outlets have claimed over the past two decades, the Bush administration was planning its invasion of Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks on America, which were then used as a pretext for armed intervention. Niaz Naik, Pakistan’s experienced former foreign secretary, has provided testimony on this.
Naik informed the BBC a week after 9/11 how he was told by senior US officials, in mid-July 2001, that Washington was preparing military action against Afghanistan (1). Naik was informed by the Americans that their invasion of Afghanistan would begin, at the latest, in the middle of October 2001, before the first Afghan snow flurries arrived. The US Armed Forces would launch their attack from bases in Tajikistan, the Central Asian country, which borders Afghanistan to the north. US advisers were present in Tajikistan by the summer of 2001.
Consequently, Bush was planning to wage a war in Afghanistan at least 8 weeks prior to the 9/11 atrocities, and indeed most probably longer than that. Naik’s comments are supported by General Hamid Gul, the former head of ISI, Pakistan’s leading intelligence agency. General Gul believed that US plans to engage militarily in Afghanistan “predated 9/11” (2). It is not terribly surprising that he came to such a conclusion. The 9/11 attacks obviously occurred on 11 September 2001, while the US-led invasion of Afghanistan commenced on 7 October 2001 – that is 26 days after 9/11.
It is not possible to prepare and initiate a large-scale military assault in less than 4 weeks, especially against a country on the other side of the world. As any commander would surely admit the planning alone takes months, before the offensive can begin.
World Trade CentreUS drones, such as the RQ-1 Predator, were hovering above the Afghan skies before 9/11. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were partaking in reconnaissance sorties, and collecting other information about Afghanistan, in preparation for the invasion. A US military operation in Afghanistan was not concerned with either “combating terrorists” or capturing Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda chief. President Bush said 5 months after the offensive had begun on 13 March 2002, “I am truly not that concerned about him [Bin Laden]”. The authenticity of this remark was confirmed by White House transcripts. (3)
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