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George W. Bush's presidency since 2007

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George W. Bush's presidency from 2005-06

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George W. Bush's presidency, 2000-04

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The secret world of Defense Secretary Gates

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The Two-Sided Afghan Trap

February 26, 2009

As President Barack Obama sends 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the history of the U.S. involvement in the region is only hazily understood, nor is it widely known how that earlier role set the stage for today’s crisis.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains how the CIA under both Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan "mousetrapped" the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan and then kept Soviet forces bogged down.

(The story summary continues below.)

However, McGovern notes that the trap also had unintended consequences by attracting Islamic fundamentalists, such as Osama bin Laden. Another backfire in the strategy was the destabilization of Pakistan, which used its special role helping the CIA project as political cover for developing nuclear weapons.

McGovern also questions the value of Obama’s decision to add more U.S. troops to the Afghan War. is an independent news network that produces stories of global interest. 

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