U.S. Identifies $1 Trillion In Mineral Deposits In Afghanistan

MINERAL-articleLargeThe war in Afghanistan looks like it just got a lot bigger and longer. The New York Times reports:

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.

The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.

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  • Yoake2bloom

    This “new” discovery makes me wonder truly how long the US gov't has known about the value of Afghanistan and if this isn't one of the driving forces in our need to win the hearts and minds of the Arab countires. Maybe we really just need to win their contracts. I smell Halliburton.

  • perniciousknid

    No doubt. I wonder if there's uranium present as well. If there were it would make so much more sense as to why we're there, given that the sole reason for the UNOCAL (or whoever's pet project it is now) pipeline, the Caspian sea basin oil reserves, turned out to be a lot less than expected. Oil & uranium prospecting go hand-in-hand, and with all that earth penetrating tomography hardware we have (like HAARP), it would be so much easier to locate than in the past. That and edging out Russia of course, they have a lot of untapped mineral wealth in Siberia. Gotta keep the competition on their toes after all. So now that the Euro is toast, and with it the proposed Iranian oil bourse (and Iran too, if the Likudniks have their way), I guess the ruble is next?

  • http://fontofliberty.blogspot.com/ Rarian Rakista

    They knew about all this before they invaded, the Russians had a similar conclusion..

  • tonyviner

    I really think that the word war should be italicized or put in quotations or something. Or we can just call it an excursion to procure the resources of other people.

  • Cerebralcaustic

    good, now the afghans can start developing their country economically and begin climbing out of their cultural backwardness and religious fundamentalism.

    • oman28

      Too late. The american govt has used its military machine to secure these resources for ther corporate puppetmasters. Any 'new' governmental or economic system that occurs in Afghanistan will be carefully planned and controlled by said puppetmasters.
      Religious fundamentalism will probably intensify as it is an essential cog in the machinery of control that will be used to keep the peasant class poor regardless of the value of the soil they stand on in their bare feet.

  • Anonymous

    Too late. The american govt has used its military machine to secure these resources for ther corporate puppetmasters. Any ‘new’ governmental or economic system that occurs in Afghanistan will be carefully planned and controlled by said puppetmasters.
    Religious fundamentalism will probably intensify as it is an essential cog in the machinery of control that will be used to keep the peasant class poor regardless of the value of the soil they stand on in their bare feet.

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