Some sources seem to indicate that the U.S. was planning a military attack against Afghanistan before September 11.
Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.
- Armey, George. (2001, September 18). US 'planned attack on Taleban'. BBC.
The day before the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration agreed on a plan to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan by force if it refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, according to a report by a bipartisan commission of inquiry.
- Borger, Julian. (2004, March 24). Bush team 'agreed plan to attack the Taliban the day before September 11'. The Guardian.
in August 2001. Central Asian affairs representative Christina Rocca and a coterie of State Department officials voiced disgust and issued a threat to the Taliban ambassador: "Accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs." Bush promptly informed Pakistan and India that the US would launch a military mission against Afghanistan before the end of October.
- Chin, Larry. (2002, March 10). Players on a rigged grand chessboard: Bridas, Unocal and the Afghanistan pipeline. Online Journal.
However, when I skim Richard A. Clarke's accounts, it seems like the Bush administration was focused on Iraq and was disinterested in Afghanistan.
It seems clear enough that the U.S. was planning an invasion of Iraq before 9/11:
- Borger. (2004). Bush decided to remove Saddam 'on day one'. The Guardian.
- Behan, Richard W. (2008/2016). The Fraudulent War. (adapted to HTML at CounterPunch)
- Stein & Dickenson. (2006). Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq. Mother Jones.
- Behan. (2008). The Story Behind George Bush’s Lies. Counterpunch.
- What was the status of preparations and approval of U.S. military action against Afghanistan (if any) before 9/11?
- Was the U.S. only considering sporadic bombing in Afghanistan, or were an invasion or regime change efforts being considered?
- At what level were these plans approved?
- Was a particular timeline in place for implementation as Naik claims?