BRZEZINSKI: I took part in some of the sessions in the Defense Department, the Secretary of Defense, regarding Afghanistan right after 9/11, when a number of us were consulted. I remember conveying my view that, one, we have to go in to eliminate al-Qaeda, but do not stay in, because I know what happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan. And I said, "Do not stay in. No nation-building, democracy promotion in addition to eliminating al-Qaeda. Go in, knock 'em off, and get out."
BRZEZINSKI: They believed in building democracy by force of arms. That's a rather long-term undertaking if you're dealing with a society which in part is medieval. But, anyway, coming to the present, that Obama inherited. We did not go in there because of oil. Afghanistan doesn't have that much oil. We went in there because we were attacked. But that does not negate the proposition that the region is important. What is important in addition to that, however, is how we handle the region. And I think establishing a presence, engaging in trade, creating more options, building more pipelines, east-west routes, new Silk Route, is a way of stabilizing the region and of exercising influence in it.
BRZEZINSKI: Well, I don't know whether—they claim they believed it. They claimed it was information. But let's leave that aside. That's an old battle. No need to re-fight it. Look, we are in Afghanistan because we've been there for eight years. Now, getting out is easy to say, but by now, if we get out – quickly – , the question arises: what follows? Is there going to be again a very sort of militant regime in Afghanistan which might tolerate al-Qaeda's presence? - The Afghan war and the 'Grand Chessboard'The Afghan war and the 'Grand Chessboard' Pt.1The Afghan war and the 'Grand Chessboard' Pt2Zbigniew Brzezinski on Iran Pt3Afghans hate US backed war lords