Lantos on Afghanistan at the Petraeus Hearings?
Reading through some of the rapid-reaction transcripts that have been going up on the hearings in the House featuring Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker-did I see this correctly? Congressman Tom Lantos saying that U.S. support for the Islamist mujaheddin in Afghanistan during the 1980s was "short-sighted"?
A fascinating admission-if only in hindsight-because it proves a point realists often make-that sometimes when you are faced with bad situations and alternatives other options might prove to be even worse.
But even after 9/11 it was very difficult to find many people who would suggest that that aid to the forces fighting the Soviets during the 1980s-or to be fair-our willingness to delegate that to Saudis who ensured that the lion's share of aid went to groups of their choosing-might have had negative ramifications for the United States in the long run.
With everyone so focused on what is being said on Iraq I am sure this point-if the transcript is accurate-will be lost, but interesting nonetheless.