Friday, 23 February 2018

The If Situation: Charlie Wilson

I sat the other day and watched Charlie Wilson's War...with Tom Hanks.  Second time that I've watched it.

It provokes a lot of history, and what if situations.

For those who aren't aware of Charley and his history, a brief moment.

Charley was this Democratic (shocking as it might sound) Congressman from east Texas.  He had a military background, and the Congressional job was more or less a playboy-like gimmick for a number of years. Then one day, after the Russians had invaded Afghanistan....Charley got onto this idea....why not stage a guerrilla-like war with the CIA helping those Mujahideen 'warriors' to retake their land.  So in 1983, Charlie arranged a funding vehicle which brought roughly 40-million in shoulder-launched missiles into Afghanistan.  The air-war basically ended within a year, and the Soviets more or less had to admit defeat....leaving Afghanistan.

As the smoke cleared, the US then failed to really review the next step....halted additional funding, and the Mujahideen moved to radical Islam.  This is where Osama Bin Laden became this iconic figure and we progressed to 9-11.

You can look back and realize that all of these problems we have today....go directly back to Charley Wilson.  There are basically two "IF" situations here:

1.  If Charley had never gotten this stupid idea.

2.  If the CIA had funded an after-action step when the Russians had left.

Either of these two steps, would have changed history and prevented 9-11 from ever occurring.

If Charley had never gotten this idea....the Soviets or Russians would still be in Afghanistan today.  Laden would have become a hunted figure eventually, and the KGB would have killed him.  The towers would still be there.  And we'd have marginal two-star security still at our airports. 

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