The Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story

by Mohammed Yousaf

Book cover for The Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story

This book reveals the political, financial and military secrets of how the USA and Pakistan controlled the largest guerilla war of this century. It is the story of how the then Soviet Union was defeated militarily inside Afghanistan, of how the CIA and Saudi Arabia acted as international paymasters for enormous annual arms buying operations, of how the Mujahideen guerrillas were trained, supplied, and controlled by Pakistan army staff working from the Afghan Bureau of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) - Pakistan's equivalent of the CIA and Defence Intelligence Agency rolled into one. Muhammad Yousaf was for four years (1983 to 1987) the head of the Afghan Bureau and as such the nearest the Mujahideen came to having a commander-in-chief. Under the Director of ISI, who devised the overall strategy of the war, Yousaf controlled the flow of thousands of tons of arms (bought by the CIA mainly from the USA, UK, China and Egypt) across Pakistan. He arranged and supervised the training of the Mujahideen in secret camps in Pakistan, he covertly sent Pakistani Army teams inside Afghanistan to assist the guerrillas in their campaign of ambushes, assassinations, raids, and rocket attacks. He devised the day to day tactics of a thousand cuts that eventually forced the Soviets to recognize they could not win militarily. He coordinated the ultra secret incursions of Mujahideen deep inside the USSR. That these attacks took place has never before been admitted, least of all exactly how they were planned and carried out. Many in authority in both the USA and Pakistan would still prefer that these sensitive issues were not made public. The USA is still uneasy about its backing the Mujahideen on the battlefield to the moment when victory was in sight and then, according to Yousaf, abruptly cutting back so that Kabul did not fall when the Soviets withdrew. Similarly, the revelation that the US and Pakistan authorities deliberately blocked any worthwhile investigation of the murder of President Zia and the US ambassador in the plane crash in August 1988, will not be welcomed.

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