On August 22, 1998, Mullah Omar, the emir of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, made a cold call to the State Department. The United States had just lobbed cruise missiles at Al Qaeda camps in his nation. Omar got a mid-level diplomat on the line and spoke calmly. He suggested that Congress force President Bill Clinton to resign. He said that American military strikes “would be counter-productive,” and would “spark more, not less, terrorist attacks,” according to a declassified record of the call. “Omar emphasized that this was his best advice,” the record adds.
More details on the impact of the article are found in this interview with the Council on Foreign Relations.
Coll is the author of the book Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.