1,994. 4/30/2001

“Chaired by [Deputy National Security Advisor] Stephen Hadley, the deputies committee held its first meeting on bin Laden and Afghanistan on April 30 [2001]. ‘There will be more attacks,’ CIA briefing slides warned. Al Qaeda was the ‘most dangerous group we face.’ [Deputy Secretary of State] Richard Armitage said that the destruction of al Qaeda should be the number one American objective in South Asia, a higher priority even than nuclear weapons control. The goal Armitage outlined, as he recalled it, was ‘not just to roll back al Qaeda, but to go after and eliminate them.’ The deputies asked the CIA to dust off its plan for large-scale covert aid to [Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah] Massoud so that the shopping list and military objectives could be refined, integrated with other policy goals, and presented to the full Cabinet.”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Pages 564-565

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