7/26/17, "Who Is Michael Vickers? The CIA's Afghan Jihad Architect Declares War On Trump," Zero Hedge, Durden
(scroll down): "Who is Michael G. Vickers?
Mike Vickers recently added his voice to the chorus of frustrated pundits raging against Trump's closure of the CIA's Syria program. He wrote this week in the Washington Post:
"Abandoning the goal of removing Assad from power will place the United States on the side of not only the barbaric Syrian regime, which has American blood on its hands dating to the early 1980s, but also Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. This is strategic folly."
Even with his impressive sounding bio as former assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities and undersecretary of defense for intelligence during the Bush and Obama administrations, Vickers will not be recognizable to most.
He is the quintessential man behind the scenes - hugely influential and powerful in the national security bureaucracy and shaping military action abroad over the past four decades, yet largely out of the public eye.
Michael G. Vickers is a key US strategist who funded Afghan jihadists in the 1980's and jihadists in Syria after 2011....
CIA's Afghan Jihad Mastermind
Vickers was considered the CIA's top strategic mastermind tasked with choosing weapons systems and implementing guerrilla warfare strategies for the various mujahideen groups fighting the Soviets in the 1980's war. This of course included supplying mass quantities of Raytheon's Stinger heat-seeking anti aircraft missiles to Afghan commanders like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and others now considered notorious terrorists by the West. Hekmatyar was a close ally of Bin Laden and had a reputation of throwing acid in women's faces should they be caught participating in public life. After 9/11 Charlie Wilson admitted that he "lived in terror" that one of the hundreds of Stinger missiles which were never recovered (and whereabouts still unknown) would be used to take down a civilian airliner.
According to Crile's exhaustively researched book, Vickers was the CIA's chief strategist that made it all happen, even expanding the weapons program beyond all historical precedent in the mid-80's:
"He [Vickers] was confident that the Stinger would add a lethal new dimension to the anti-aircraft mix that was already beginning to pay off. He had gone to great lengths to make sure the Afghans would be properly trained. In the past, U.S. trainers had taught the Pakistanis how to use the new weapons, and the Pakistanis had then instructed the mujahideen. This time Vickers proposed that the American specialists go into the camps dressed like mujahideen to personally supervise the training.
...Now that the anti-aircraft strategy was in place, Vickers insisted that his master plan, spelling out precise how the CIA should support the Afghans for the next three years was complete."
And like with the more recent Syria covert program, the massive Afghan jihad program had to be carefully shielded from public view:
"And so all of Vickers's calculations had to take into account maneuvers with Swiss bank accounts, shadowy purchasing agents, safe houses, phony corporations, contracts, lawyers, disguised boats, fleets of trucks, trains, camels, donkeys, mules, warehouses, disguised satellite-targeting studies, and secret payments to the families of the fighters.
...By the beginning of 1986 Vickers realized he was calling the shots on 57 percent of the Directorate of Operations' total budget. He had by then grown accustomed to running the biggest CIA paramilitary campaign in history.
We all know how this ended up: an unprecedented rise in international Islamic terrorism as a permanent fixture on the world stage, horrific mass casualties of civilians in sophisticated terror bombings, the installation of the radical Taliban government in Afghanistan, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the 9/11 attacks. According to Crile the CIA was well aware of the nasty jihadist nature of the Afghan rebels it was dealing with at the time, and like with Syria of more recent years, it was warned of what would come and proceeded anyway.
Vickers: From Afghan to Syrian Jihad
With not a hint of shame, bashfulness, or recognition of the twisted irony of it all, Vickers actually invoked his prior experience overseeing the Afghan jihad in his recent Washington Post op-ed:
"President Ronald Reagan understood the potential of covert proxy wars to alter global power balances. Through stepped-up support for the Afghan mujahideen and other anti-Communist movements, and other, complementary strategic policies, he won the Cold War. It took the Carter and Reagan administrations more than five years to come up with a war-winning strategy (work that I helped to lead as a CIA officer) against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The same could be done in Syria today."
At the very least, this might serve to educate the public of how the intelligence and national security deep state works: these guys never go away, criminality is rewarded. (Vickers was literally praised as thinking "like a gangster" for his ability to implement nasty guerrilla tactics on shifting battlefield environments in a 2007 Washington Post profile), and it's often the same guys running the show behind the scenes of ugly covert interventions which only serve to make the world less safe for Americans.
Vickers himself, as Defense Under Secretary for Intelligence until 2015, oversaw aspects of US covert action in Syria. The man has literally gone from overseeing the CIA's covert support of Afghan mujahideen to overseeing US support for jihadists in Syria to now declaring war on Trump. The deep state has gone full circle here. But it's our sincere hope that America finally defeats all the jihadists and their enablers both at home and abroad."