Urban warfare was 'fair game' during Afghan war Staff Report
During the Afghan war, the training given to mujahideen at facilities in Pakistan included techniques of urban warfare since taking the war to the cities and killing civilians was considered "fair game" in the war against Communism.
According to a book about former Congressman Charlie Wilson's role in that war, "The mujahideen in the Pakistani training camps were not only receiving a flood of lethal weapons, they were also being trained to wage a war of urban terror, with instruction in car bombings, bicycle bombings, camel bombings and assassination."
The book says, "Just how vicious a campaign the CIA was sponsoring is suggested by the Pakistan brigadier Mohammed Yousuf, who directed the training with and distribution of CIA weapons at that time." In a memoir, he described "the range of assassination tactics and targets he was preparing the mujahideen to take on in Kabul. They ranged from "knife between the shoulder blades of a Soviet soldier shopping the bazaar" to the "placing of a briefcase bomb in a senior official's office'. educational institutions were considered fair game" since they were staffed by 'communists indoctrinating their students with Marxist dogma'".
The book also recounts General Ziaul Haq's hesitation in permitting the Americans to equip the mujahideen with the Stinger missile, a fateful decision that changed the course of the war.
According to the book, "When Zia had confided (to Wilson) that he was still uncertain about Stingers, Wilson had suggested that he should consider an important benefit beyond the weapon's battlefield value to the mujahideen. The Stinger, he'd said, would become a symbol of the special relationship that had been forged between the United States and Pakistan. It would serve to identify the two countries as partners in the great battle against Soviet tyranny. It would further cement the bond between Zia and the Reagan administration, and in turn "it would make it easier for him (Wilson) to continue to increase US military and economic assistance to Pakistan. Wilson had caught Zia's attention with this argument. The military dictator had already walked Pakistan way out on a limb by turning his country into the base camp for the Afghan jihad. There would have been no jihad without Zia, but without massive US military and economic assistance that had poured into Pakistan, the dictator would never have been able to justify the sacrifices he had forced upon his country."
[Source: Daily Times (Pakistan), August 19, 2003]
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