A TIMELINE OF OIL AND VIOLENCE

AFGHANISTAN

(Click here for Timeline - Iraq)

- Last updated February 13, 2006 -

(Edits and other suggestions are welcomed)

See map of area

July 3, 1979
President Carter signed a secret directive aiding opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, calculated to induce a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (See: Interview with former President Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski)
Mid to Late 1980s

Sept. 1986: In response to apparent successes of the Soviet Hind-D helicopter-gunship in Afghanistan, President Reagan authorized the shipment of Stinger missiles via Pakistan to Afghanistan. Overwhelmingly successful use of the Stinger resulted in neutralization of the Hind-D, and three years later (1989) to full Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The US, wishing to increase its regional influence, worked with the Saudis to import an army of Saudis, Egyptians, and others into Afghanistan. The Saudis chose a member of a wealthy construction family with close royal family ties - Osama bin Laden - to lead the effort. Many of the men bin Laden recruited were connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, a regional fundamentalist group. bin Laden's newly constructed army (shortly thereafter known as al Qaeda) successfully fought to settle Afghanistan in favor of an Afghan fundamentalist group, the Taliban. [See: Against All Enemies, Inside America's War on Terror; Richard A. Clark, Free Press (Simon & Schuster), 2004]

Dec. 1991

Collapse of the Soviet Union, and the birth of Caspian Sea nations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan (1).

1993

US Oil companies reached for the estimated 200 billion barrels of oil in the Caspian Sea area. (Also: 2 3 4 5 6)

1995

Unocal, seeking to build a pipeline across Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (for delivery to energy hungry Asia via the Pakistani Arabian Sea coast), signed an agreement with Turkmenistan for natural gas purchasing rights for transport through a proposed pipeline (7). (See also 2) Unocal also signed an agreement with Turkmenistan for an oil pipeline (8) along the same route.

Aug. 13, 1996

Unocal and Delta Oil Co. of Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding (9) with Russia's Gazprom and Turkmenistan's Turkmenrusgaz to build a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan.

Oct. 1997

Unocal and other oil companies formed Central Asia Gas Pipeline, Ltd. (CentGas) (10) in preparation for building the trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

1997
US Congress passed a resolution declaring the Caspian and Caucasus region to be a “zone of vital American interests”.
Dec. 1997

Unocal invited Taliban representatives to their corporate headquarters in Sugarland, TX. (11) to discuss the pipeline project. They were thereafter invited to Washington for meetings with Clinton Administration officials.

Jan. 1998

Unocal agreement signed between Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and the Taliban (12) to arrange funding of the gas pipeline project, with Unocal also considering a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Arabian Sea coast oil pipeline.

1998

VP Dick Cheney, then CEO of the giant oil services company, Halliburton, stated: "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." (13)

Feb. 28, 1998

Unocal VP International Relations addressed US House of Representatives(14) clearly stating that the Taliban government should be removed and replaced by a government acceptable to his company. He argued that creation of a 42 inch oil pipeline across Afghanistan would yield a Western profit increase of 500% by 2015.

March 1998

Unocal announced a delay in finalizing the pipeline project (15) due to Afghanistan's continuing civil war

Aug. 7, 1998

Terrorists said to be linked to Osama bin Laden bombed two US embassies (16) in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Aug. 20, 1998

Clinton ordered a 75-80 cruise missile attacks (17) on Afghanistan and Sudan targets.

Aug. 21, 1998

Unocal temporarily halted development of the pipeline(18) project following the US missile attack above.

Aug. 22, 1998

BBC reported that the US and al-Queda leader Osama bin Laden exchanged warnings (19) of things to come following the cruise missile attacks ordered two days earlier. (You may be required to copy and paste -> newsid_156000/156273.stm <- into the search window of this link to find this page.)

Nov. 1998

The Trade and Development Agency commissioned Enron to perform a feasibility study (20) re: an east-to-west route, crossing the Caspian Mountains and terminating in Turkey along the Mediterranean. (The route was considered impractical as it would cost an estimated $1 billion more than a route through Afghanistan.)

Dec. 1998

Unocal issued a statement (21) that it had withdrawn from the pipeline project on 12/4/98, noting "business reasons."

April 30, 1999

Excluding US interests, Afghanistan, Pakistan, & Turkmenistan reactivated the pipeline project (22 - cached copy via Google) (see also 22a)

July 4, 1999
An executive order (13129) was issued by Clinton, freezing US held Taliban assets (23), & prohibiting trade plus other transactions. (See also: 23a)
Oct. 15, 1999
UN Security Council Resolution 1267 imposed sanctions on the Taliban (24a), demanding that the Taliban "turn over the terrorist Usama Bin Laden without further delay..."
Oct. 12, 2000

The USS Cole was attacked (25) in the Yemeni port of Aden.

Dec. 19, 2000
UN Security Council Resolution 1333 (24b) demanded compliance with Resolution 1267, and imposed further sanctions on the Taliban (24b).
Jan. - Feb. 2001

Upon taking office, the Bush administration immediately engaged in active negotiations with Taliban representatives (27) with meetings in Washington, DC, Berlin, and Islamabad. During this time the Taliban government hired Laila Helms, niece of former CIA director Richard Helms (28), as their go-between in negotiations with the US government.

Bush (oil) administration (29) includes:

  • Dick Cheney, VP: Until 2000 - President of Halliburton (in position to build the Afghan pipeline).
  • Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor: 1991-2000 - Manager of Chevron Oil, and Kazakhstan go-between.
  • Donald Evans, Sec. Commerce: former CEO, Tom Brown, Inc. (a $1.2 billion oil company).
  • Gale Norton, Sec. Interior: former national chairwoman of the Coalition of Republican Environmental Advocates - funded by, among others, BP Amoco.
  • Spencer Abraham, Sec. Energy: Up through his failed bid for senatorial reelection in the 2000, he received more oil and gas industry money than all but three other senators (January 1997 through July 2000) (30).
  • Thomas White, Secretary of the Army: former Vice Chairman of Enron and a large shareholder of that company's stock.
May 15, 2001
Regarding the placement of the Unocal Pipeline, a US Official delivered this ultimatum to the Taliban (via the Pakistani delegation acting as their interlocutors): "Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs." (Ref: Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie in "Forbidden Truth" (31) (Book's Preface online-pdf format (32) )
June 2001

US Ambassador to Yemen, Ms. Barbara Bodine forbade Deputy Director FBI John O'Neill (33) from entering Yemen in that group's ongoing investigation into al-Qaeda and the USS Cole attack.

July 2001

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July (34a) that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. (See also BBC report(34b))

Aug. 2, 2001

Last meeting with the Taliban (5 weeks before the 9/11/01 attack). (35) Christina Rocca, in charge of Central Asian affairs for US government, met with the Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan (Abdul Salam Zaeef) in Islamabad, at which time Taliban representatives were reminded that the US had provided monetary relief assistance. (The above referenced State Department report fails to mention that oil topics were also discussed.) (36).

Aug. 22, 2001

John O'Neill - Deputy director FBI, established national expert on the al-Qaeda network and in charge of that investigation, resigned in protest over the Bush Administration's obstruction (37) of those investigations. (See also: New Yorker 1/14/02 (37a) )

Aug. 23, 2001

John O'Neill accepted position as chief of security, World Trade Center buildings (38). NOTE: Electronic security for the World Trade Center was provided by Securacom (now Stratesec), a company initially founded with Kuwaiti capital. Marvin P. Bush, President George W. Bush's youngest brother served as a Securicom/Stratesec board member from 1993 through 2000. (38a)

Sept. 4-11, 2001

July - Sept. 2000 - Pakistani Intelligence Chief (ISI) Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad reportedly instructed British born Saeed Sheikh (alias: Ahmad Umar Sheikh, Mustafa Muhammad Ahmed, ....) in Pakistan to wire $100,000 (7/00-9/00) to two Florida bank accounts held by hijacker Mohammed Atta. (Washington Post 10-7-01 (39a), (Times of India 10-9-01 (30b), (Dawn News 10-9-01 (39c), (World Net Daily 1-30-02 (30d), (Times of India 08-1-03 (39e)

Sept. 4, 2001 - ISI's Lt. General Ahmad entered the United States and subsequently met with many top officials within the Bush Administration. (Philadelphia City Paper 12-20-01 (39f), (Counterpunch 10-1-02 (39g)

Sept. 11, 2001 - Lt. General Ahmad concluded a breakfast meeting with Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), Representative Porter Goss (R-FL), and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). (Graham and Goss subsequently served as CO-Chairs of the Joint-Intelligence Committee investigating the 9/11 attacks.) (Counterpunch 10-1-02 (39h) (Online Journal 8-7-03 (39i), (S.A.Tribune 4-11-04 (39j)

During Ahmad's brief stay in the US, he also met with: Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE). (Dawn News 9-10-01 (39k), (Reuters 9/13/01 (39l), (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 9-12-01 (39m), Center for Cooperative Research - See: section: Sept. 11-16 (39n)

Sept. 9, 2001

Ahmed Shah Masood was assassinated in Afghanistan (40). His assassination severely weakened the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, which he had led.

Sept. 11, 2001

World Trade Center attacked by al Qaeda; fifteen of the nineteen were from Saudi Arabia [41a, 41b]. John O'Neill, WTC security chief, and former deputy director of the FBI, where he headed investigation of the al-Qaeda network, was killed in those buildings on that day. (41c)

Sept. 28, 2001
UN Security Council Resolution 1373 imposed further sanctions on the Taliban (26).
Oct. 7, 2001

Military operations with aerial bombardment began in Afghanistan (42)

Oct. 31, 2001

The Bush White House drafted an unprecedented executive order (43a) sealing presidential records including those of prior administrations. [See also: US House Committee on Governmental Reform analysis (43b)]

Dec. 22, 2001

The US-backed interim government headed by Hamid Karzai took office in Kabul, Afghanistan (44a). (Hamid Karzai had formerly functioned as a Unocal Corporation consultant (44b) )

Dec. 31, 2001

Bush appointed Zalmay Khalilzad, as his Special Envoy to Afghanistan (45a). Zhalilzad, like Karzai had earlier functioned as a Unocal consultant, participating in 1997 talks between Unocal and Taliban officials. (Regarding Zhalilzad's "neocon" credentials, See: 45b).

Jan. 29, 2002

CNN reported: "President Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Tuesday to limit the congressional investigation into the events of 9/11/01" (46).

Feb 8, 2002

Afghanistan's interim ruler Hamid Karzai and the Pakistan president agreed to revive plans (47a) for a trans-Afghanistan pipeline..

Feb 9, 2002

Turkmenistan officially stated that they hoped their trans-Afghanistan route would be soon built.

Feb. 2002

Proposal to deploy US Special Operations forces to the Caucasus state of Georgia (47b) (would help enforce a Washington pipeline policy - neutralizing Russian influence in Central Asia.)

May 13, 2002

Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai to hold talks with his Pakistani and Turkmenistan counterparts (47c) regarding a pipeline from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan, and through Pakistan to the coast. Mohammad Alim Razim, Afghanistan's minister for Mines and Industries, stated Unocal was considered "the lead company" to build the pipeline. (See also: 47d.)

May 30, 2002
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan agreed to construct a gas pipeline to the subcontinent (48a) (See also: 48b.)
Nov. 2004
The annual US Government estimate for opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was released Nov. 2004 (49): approximately 206,700 hectares of poppy were grown in 2004, representing a 239% increase in production over 2003 estimates.