There are a lot of closely guarded secrets in Afghanistan. Amrullah Saleh knows most of them. Until six months ago he was Afghanistan’s chief of intelligence. Then suddenly he was out. In the debut of FRONTLINE’s new magazine series, Martin Smith travels to Afghanistan to talk with Saleh about his defection.
Archive for January, 2011
This is Rain Media’s latest — a ten minute piece appearing at the back end of FRONTLINE’s new magazine program. If you miss it on-air, make sure to catch it online at www.frontline.org.
Martin Smith, who traveled to Afghanistan in late November to interview Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan’s top spymaster, had this to say:
“I first met Amrullah Saleh four years ago when I was filming “Return of the Taliban” for FRONTLINE. We’ve kept in touch since. After news came that he had been forced to resign, I invited myself to his home in the Panjshir valley north of Kabul. It sits in an old village above a clear, rushing river, surrounded by mulberry groves. Amrullah was a gracious host, a terrific raconteur, and a man who likes to climb mountains before breakfast “to make his eggs and nan taste good.”
During our three day visit I asked Amrullah to explain his break with President Karzai, his views of the American military and of Pakistan As always I found him to be candid and direct. He is an unapologetic hawk who wants NATO and Afghan forces to escalate the war – more night raids, more targeting killings, more drones inside Pakistan. Many including President Karzai believe he is misguided and reckless but Amrullah insists that a greater civil war is inevitable unless the Taliban, their sponsors in Pakistan and al Qaeda are forever defeated.”