US agencies have directly and indirectly trained and empowered Nazis and ultra-nationalists at home and abroad to fight Russians in Ukraine. This program follows the blueprint established by Western intelligence agencies in Afghanistan and Syria.
From 1978 (not ’79 as many believe), the administration of Jimmy Carter decided to “draw the Russians into the Afghan trap,” in the words of the President’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. US intelligence called on its British counterparts to activate networks of Afghan fighters. New generations of extremists joined the fight. Aid, arms, and training poured into Afghanistan. Support increased following the Soviet invasion in December 1979.
Throughout the 1980s, tens of thousands of jihadis from dozens of Muslim-majority countries were flown into the US, Britain, and Pakistan to receive training from the CIA, Green Berets, US Marines, and British SAS and MI6. The foreign extremists later rebranded themselves “al-Qaeda” and launched a series of spectacularly bloody attacks on strategically significant targets that provided justification for a global “war on terror” that continues to serve as ideological cover for contemporary US hegemony.
The multi-billion dollar CIA operation to arm and train the so-called freedom fighters, or Afghan mujahedin, was known as Operation Cyclone. Successive administrations repeated the pattern in the 2010s, initiating Operation Timber Sycamore in a failed effort to depose Bashar al-Assad in Syria and Operation Mermaid Dawn before it in a successful effort to remove Muammar Gaddafi and destabilize Libya.
Read more: A new generation of US-trained extremists is fighting Russia. Are we prepared for the blowback?