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Subject: O.T. : New CT Identified .... !
Date: 14 Jun 2010 19:55:15 -0400
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Why we really invaded Afaganystan .... !
U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan
Tyler Hicks/The NY Times
A bleak Ghazni Province seems to offer little, but a Pentagon study
says it may have among the world=92s largest deposits of lithium.
By JAMES RISEN
Published: June 13, 2010
WASHINGTON =97 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
The previously unknown deposits =97 including huge veins of iron,
copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium =97 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
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could
become the =93Saudi Arabia of lithium,=94 a key raw material in the
manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
The vast scale of Afghanistan=92s mineral wealth was discovered by a
small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan
government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American
While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the
potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry
believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are
profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from
generations of war.
=93There is stunning potential here,=94 Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander
of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on
Saturday. =93There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially
it is hugely significant.=94
The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of
Afghanistan=92s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely
on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the
United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan=92s gross
domestic product is only about $12 billion.
=93This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,=94 said Jalil
Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.
American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral
discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The
American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved
only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism
continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems
increasingly embittered toward the White House.
So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come
out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the
mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.
Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the
Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the
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=92s 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.
Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and
provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts. Afghanistan
has a national mining law, written with the help of advisers from the
World Bank, but it has never faced a serious challenge.
=93No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a
fight between the central government and the provinces,=94 observed Paul
A. Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense for business and leader
of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.
At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will
try to dominate the development of Afghanistan=92s mineral wealth, which
could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the
region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar
Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.
Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much
heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental
protection either. =93The big question is, can this be developed in a
responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially
responsible?=94 Mr. Brinkley said. =93No one knows how this will work.=94
With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it
will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully.
=93This is a country that has no mining culture,=94 said Jack Medlin, a
geologist in the United States Geological Survey=92s international
affairs program. =93They=92ve had some small artisanal mines, but now
there could be some very, very large mines that will require more than
just a gold pan.=94
The mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country, including
in the southern and eastern regions along the border with Pakistan
that have had some of the most intense combat in the American-led war
against the Taliban insurgency.
PS1 : For AM & JB : Better not wait a second too long and don't forget
to congratulate the afganny people for this new find that they can use
to rebuild their shattered country and their continued efforts against
the Al Kada led Taliban and their 'War of Terror' .... NOT.
PS2 : AKA : "The Phony War On Terorr" .... ! AKA : "Anybody know the
where-abouts of GHWB & Son?"
This was brought to my attention by Quotes (above) of a poster at Yoo
Tube .... The Offi'cia'l 'Den of Iniquity' for left-wingers who have
fallen off the map.