McG: I hate to be cynical about these things, but once we got the Soviets out, our reason to be there basically evaporated. You may ask about the poor people and the poor country. Well, we have a history of doing this kind of thing, of using people. The Kurds are one example. We use them and betray them, and we don?t care much once our little geopolitical objective has been achieved. That?s what was in play here. Nobody gave a damn. We had a brilliant victory, we got the Soviets out of there, we started pounding our chests, and nobody gave much thought to helping the poor Afghanis that were left behind.
In addition, these bad guys were our good guys. Osama bin Laden and all those folks were people we armed and trained, and when you get that close ? and this is a systemic problem within the Agency ? when you get that close so that you?re in bed with these guys, you can?t step back and say, ?Whoa, wait a second. These guys could be a real danger in the future.? You can?t make a calculated, dispassionate analysis of what might be in store for these guys. It was a poor situation politically, strategically, and as it turned out, analytically as well.