The Forgotten War
I have to say, I never really bought the whole pipeline argument for Afghanistan. It never quite added up for me.
Anyway, the bottom line of the article is that the invasion of Afghanistan went hand-in-hand with the invasion of Iraq (which strenghtened Iran), in order to build up an alliance of Islamic extremists in central Asia-- Islamic extremists that will threaten Russia and China.
In other words, it's still classic superpower geopolitics.
More on this idea here, including the fascinating concept that the US and Islamic extremists are actually secret allies.
This of course, throws 9/11 in a whole new light. Jared israel has also done some early ground-breaking work on 9/11, many articles are here.