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"There is stunning potential here"

Here is Afghanistan:

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.

The vast scale of Afghanistan's 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 officials said.

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.

"There is stunning potential here," Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. "There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant."

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan's 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's gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

"This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy," said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

Good news from a region where such news is scarce.  Let's hope that the United States won't squander this opportunity.

H/T Ron Wright by email.

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.


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Comments (20)

The fact that this comes wh... (Below threshold)
James H:

The fact that this comes while Karzai is in charge scares me.

Here Lee Ward let me save y... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Here Lee Ward let me save you the trouble.

Republicans were against foreign countrines mining before a black man became president.

We get it, RM.It w... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

We get it, RM.

It was funny the first 40 or 50 times you posted it.

Some things never grow old,... (Below threshold)

Some things never grow old, Bruce.

Afghanistan might as well b... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Afghanistan might as well be Pandora and the valuable minerals might as well be unobtainium. Baseball is the pastime in the United States, but in Afghanistan it's war. Fundamentalists look to Afghanistan as the last place they can recreate an idealistic Islamic nation and such a nation has the technological infrastructure of the 6th century. The Taliban and the people of Afghanistan already know the US is pulling out next year. It's unlikely private companies will make the needed investments to mine in Afghanistan under those conditions.

Yeah, I have to view this l... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Yeah, I have to view this like all the oil that God put into the hands of the Jihadists -only worse.

Hmmmm? If we confiscated it... (Below threshold)

Hmmmm? If we confiscated it we could maybe pay off 1/20th of the debt Hussein has brought this last year. Of course thats not including the couple trill his Katrina blunder will cost.

Now you know why we are sti... (Below threshold)

Now you know why we are still in Afghanistan fighting. It's about putting down the major ethnic group (Pashtuns) that might be able to mount a significant initiative against foreign exploitation of they're mineral resources. Just consider it a little pre-emptive action befor Kharzai starts negotitiang how much his family can get for mineral rights.

And of course the US will P... (Below threshold)

And of course the US will PAY to have all of the mining "opportunities" turned over to the Afghan government. George Soros will wade in, via his Whitey House puppet, American military men will be killed guarding and patrolling the region and the American taxpayer will foot the bill. Total net monetary PROFIT to the US--$0.00, naturally.

Bruce Henry"We get... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce Henry

"We get it, RM.

It was funny the first 40 or 50 times you posted it.

I still have a few hundred times to catch up to Lee Ward. If you dont like to read it then please feel free not to.

Now we need to teach them t... (Below threshold)

Now we need to teach them that rocks have more uses than just stoning their women to death.

"Some things never grow ... (Below threshold)

"Some things never grow old, Bruce"

Except Bruces boring drivel.

NO WAR FOR MINERALS!!!... (Below threshold)


On and BruceYour s... (Below threshold)
retired military:

On and Bruce

Your statement shows your stunning (well not so stunning) hypocracy.

You choose to attack my post yet you say nothing to Lee Ward about his assinine attempts to interject racism in just about every discussion.

For example:


"Lol! Look, just admit that until he get's the Michael Jackson skin treatments and lightens up a bit you guys are going to hate everything Obama does. "

Lee Ward brings up the color of Obama's skin almost every thread. It is ridiculous. He is fixated on it and uses it to excuse any rational argument against Obama's actions.

Yet you want to call me on my post

Shouldn't the lunatic left ... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

Shouldn't the lunatic left be chanting 'No Blood for Minerals!' right about now??

The mineral "find" gives "j... (Below threshold)

The mineral "find" gives "just cause" to keep troops in Afganistan. The ruse is Afgani's start drilling/mining to develop a stable economy, so we must keep troops in position to protect the infrastructure and ENVIRONMENT from being destroyed like it has been off the coast of Louisianna. Right?

Conspiracy theories are complicated, this theory is not complicated.

Knock yourself out, RM. I w... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Knock yourself out, RM. I won't say another word about your pathetic repetition of the same old joke, over and over and over and over and over. You're right. It's hysterical. Don't know what I was thinking. LOL.

BruceThe only thin... (Below threshold)
retired military:


The only thing pathetic is Lee Wards attempt to interject racism in just about every
thread. And again you say nothing about it.

" I won't say another word about your pathetic repetition of the same old joke, over and over and over and over and over. "

Now you know exactly how we feel with every post Lee Ward makes. I have said it before. You libs can dish it out but you cant take your own medicine.

And it isnt just Lee Ward either. Every time a conservative comes out against Obama the word racism is used by the dems in Congress, the press and talking heads. We are kinda sick of hearing it.

Tell you what Bruce. If you can get Lee Ward to stop saying the word racist every time the clock ticks than I will gladly stop imitating him. Deal? Or are you saying it is fine that Lee Ward can say racism about everything but a conservative cant?

No, you can say anything yo... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

No, you can say anything you want.

Forget I said anything.

Saying, "Let me save Lee Ward the trouble..." on thread after thread BEFORE the guy ever shows up is freaking hilarious. You should keep doing it. It's awesome. Like I said, knock yourself out.

OOH RAH RM - I appreciate i... (Below threshold)

OOH RAH RM - I appreciate it because it IS something that moron would interject. That it annoys BH is just an indication that even he realizes how stooooopid Lee is.






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