“The United States remained complacent about the Taliban as long as Pakistan continued to appear to chase al Qaeda. ‘The Taliban were always considered a lower priority by the United States,’ said a senior CIA official [former Acting Director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin, on November 19, 2005]. ‘They had been defeated and only needed cleaning up, which was considered to be Pakistan’s job. Al Qaeda was the main priority for the U.S.’ ”

 – Ahmed Rashid, Descent Into Chaos, Page 253-254