Afghanistan: The Biden administration has botched the handling of Afghanistan. Joe looks clearly unfit for the job and deeply confused, announcing ”they told me.” Who is the “they” who told Joe?
Experts like Gary Berntsen and Eric Prince are required to help establish a suitable plan working forward.
Order Gary’s book here.
Gary Berntsen’s CIA Career:
In August 1998 Berntsen led the response team to the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam. The subsequent investigation led to the capture of some 21 individuals involved with the planning and execution of the attacks.
Berntsen went to Afghanistan in March 2000 as a part of a CIA team that planned on capturing a senior Al Qaeda leader. Berntsen writes that though leaders at the CIA, particularly Cofer Black and Henry A. Crumpton “had shown a willingness to plan and execute risky missions,” top US government leadership including President Bill Clinton and CIA Director George Tenet were unprepared to take the increased risks. It is recognized that the environment for covert CIA operations in areas of Central Asia significantly shifted after the September 11 attacks in 2001 on New York City and Washington, D.C. The legitimacy for conducting such operations received widespread recognition and the actions carried out by CIA personnel after the attacks allowed for greater efficacy in targeting Al Qaeda personnel planning and conducting operations against US interests. Furthermore, Berntsen’s mission was also undermined by a CIA station chief in a neighboring country, dubbed Lawrence, who contacted CIA Headquarters calling for the mission to be called off. The mission was never executed and the CIA’s indecision would lead the Northern Alliance’s leader Ahmad Shah Massoud to conclude that the US was “not serious” about fighting the Taliban.
In December 2001, Berntsen served as the Commander of all CIA forces in Eastern Afghanistan and led the agency’s Jawbreaker team in Tora Bora. With a new President and the United States rattled by 9/11, Berntsen returned to Afghanistan with significantly different instructions.
In his 2005 book, Jawbreaker, he alleges that Osama bin Laden could have been captured at Tora Bora if the US military (specifically United States Central Command) had devoted more resources to the operation. This claim gained substantial traction due to a Senate Report on the circumstances of bin Laden’s escape. According to both Berntsen’s account and the Senate Committee’s report, “Bin Laden and bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan’s unregulated tribal area.”
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