As Gates emphasis proudly in his memoir, the covert aid to the Mujahideen Holy Warriors in Afghanistan to bring down that government began well before the Soviet invasion:
"The [key] meeting was finally held on July 3, 1979, and - almost six months before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan - Jimmy Carter signed the finding to help the Mujahedin covertly."
That day, [Zbigniew] Brzezinski [Gates’ boss] later remarked, he wrote a note to Carter in which he explained to the president that “In my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”
To the question of whether he regretted “having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists,” Brezinski responded with another question: “What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?””