Michael Johns: Charlie Wilson’s War Was Really America’s War
Former government official and current policy analyst Michael Johns writes that Charlie Wilson’s War is an important film and has quite a different take than many believe about our past involvment in Afghanistan – either through viewing the film or knowing the history of the conflict. He writes, “…there may be no more outrageously innaccurate thesis held than the one that suggests that U.S. support for the mujahideen during the Reagan years somehow benifited today’s al-Qaeda.”
This excerpt from Michael Johns’ post:
As the film correctly depicts, Wilson experienced surprising success in his somewhat rogue effort to substantially increase covert CIA-channeled U.S. aid to the mujahideen, and the results were ultimately nothing short of remarkable, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan turning into Moscow’s Vietnam. The mujahideen proved hugely heroic fighters. With the aid of U.S.-supplied Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Soviet MIG and other fighter jets were routinely shot from the sky. Charlie Wilson’s War tells this story and, in so doing, provides a fairly new and important context on what was undeniably one of the single greatest contributing factors to the ultimate collapse of global communism. Afghanistan, quite simply, proved for the first time that, with determination and support, the Soviet Union’s conquests were reversible. The global significance of this message surely ranks among the most important of the 20th century.