that the United States funded and supported individuals who later
came back to threaten American interests. Commonly cited examples
include Saddam Hussein, who the United States supported in the 1980s
as a counterweight to Iran, and Manuel Noriega of Panama, who received
support from the CIA.
subject of debate is whether Osama bin Laden and his network of supporters
are in some sense a product of blowback. Following Soviet intervention
in Afghanistan in 1979, the United States government provided weaponry
and other assistance totaling about $3 billion to mujahedin rebels.
The rebels also received support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, which,
in particular, was eager to foster a Sunni government as a counterweight
to Shia Iran.
Afghanistan's Communist government fell, and for two years, mujahedin
factions struggled for power. It was during this power struggle that
the Taliban, which promised to end violence and restore order and
received support from Pakistan, attained power. Significant numbers
of outsiders arrived in Afghanistan only after the Taliban had begun
to achieve power in 1994.
term is used to refer to the Islamic anti-Communist resistance fighters
in Afghanistan during the 1980s and 1990s or to Islamic soldiers more
their name from the word for religious students, the Taliban came
to world attention in 1994. Drawing their support primarily from the
Afghanistan's Pashtun ethnic group, the Taliban were able in 1995
to gain country over the southern and eastern parts of the country.
Their success was a product of their ability to restore stability
to areas that had been marked by social chaos. The Taliban promised
to strictly enforce Islamic law, expel Communists from the country,
and eliminate corruption and lawlessness. After taking control of
Kabul in 1996, the Taleban sought to establish a truly Islamic state.
They forbid television and movies, introduced public executions, and
forbid girls from attending school.
of terrorism is subject to intense controversy. Currently, the Reuters
news service discourages its correspondents from using the term on
the ground that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom
parlance, the word terrorisms refer to acts of violence inflicted
against a civilian population that occur outside of war. Technically,
the term now is used to refer to politically-motivated violence perpetrated
by non-state organizations against an established nation state.
of Islam, which emerged in Arabia during the eighteenth century and
is the official theology of the Gulf states. Named after Mohammed
ibn al-Wahhab (1703-1792), Wahhabism seeks to return Islam to its
beginnings through a literal interpretation of the Koran.