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“Ts'ao Kung has the note: ‘He who wishes to fight must first count the cost.’”

Sun Tzu
The Art of War

“Yeah, well ya know, what's so funny is I thought the season was over and, ya know, things were calming down so I started taking some time off, and low and behold The Eddie comes around and, ya know, it's as massive as it gets. So ah, ya know, we train for, ah... life. Ya know, this is a way of life for me. And my training program is just for me to survive whatever happens, whatever's the next thing that comes my way.”

Makua Rothman

“After Vietnam and the stinging Washington scandals of the 1970's many [CIA] case officers feared local political entanglements, especially in violent covert operations. Many of them had vowed after Vietnam that there would be no more CIA-lead quixotic quests for Third World hearts and minds. In Afghanistan, they said, the CIA would stick to its legal authority: mules, money, and mortars. For many in the CIA the Afghan Jihad was about killing Soviets first and last. [CIA officer Howard] Hart even suggested that the Pakistanis put a bounty out on Soviet soldiers: 10,000 rupees for a Special Forces soldier, 5,000 for a conscript, and double in either case if the prisoners were brought in alive. This was payback for Soviet aid to the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, and for many CIA officers who had served in that war it was personal.”

Steve Coll
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001