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Charlie Wilson Redux?

Jonathan Schanzer

Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry dismissed media reports that the country inked a deal with Israel for the purchase of military equipment, but noted that the country has “thus far, been unable to supply its needed military equipment and has met its needs through foreign aids.”

If the reports are true, and Israeli weapons are flowing to Afghanistan, it wouldn’t be the first time. In 1983, Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-TX) brokered a covert weapons sale between Pakistan and Israel through Israeli congressional liaison Zvi Rafiah. The weapons, mostly Soviet-made weapons that Israel had confiscated from the PLO, were then funneled to the mujahedin in their war against the Soviets.

U.S. forces have also been using Israeli creations, such as the Hunter UAV, as well as jointly-created weapons, such as the Litening Pod, in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001.