Monday, June 14, 2010

US Discovers Mineral Treasurehouse in Afghanistan

I'm used to stupidity when it comes to Afghanistan on the part of the US government, but this little item illustrates stupidity cubed:

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.

Let's recap here. We have a backward, fundamentalist Muslim nation with a corrupt dysfunctional government that could very well either be taken over by the Taliban and other Islamic radicals in the future or at best have them as a significant part of its government. And its current leader, Hamid Karzai really, really dislikes our president.

And,oh yes, it's right next door to a nuclear armed and America-hating Pakistan, a wanna-be nuclear armed and America-hating Iran, Russia and China.

Our offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has not been the breakthrough it was touted as, and the Obama Administrations set date for a pull out in 2011 is already well known to our enemies, so our presence in the country is likely going to be reduced if not eliminated entirely.

So weighing all these facts, what do we do? We send teams of geologists and mining engineers around Afghanistan to explore and find mineral wealth the Afghans could never have discovered on their own, and make sure they know about it.

The corrupt Afghan government or the new edition featuring the Taliban will deal with the Chinese or Russians to exploit it, since they hate us and want us gone,and the wealth created will go to fund jihad and technology sold by the Russians and Chinese to regimes that are not our friend.Imagine a Russian-built nuclear facility for a Taliban dominated government, funded by lithium just as Iran's is funded by oil. Especially with a stony broke Pakistan next door with nuclear weapons technology to sell.

And while its true that the ever helpful Russians and Chinese might have discovered these mineral deposits after we left, they might not have, especially with no reason to explore in the country. Must we always be our own worst enemy?

I doubt we've created a new Saudi Arabia...more like a new Iran, funded by mineral wealth we discovered for them and have now fully briefed them on because someone in DC couldn't connect these dots as I'm doing.

Brilliant, eh?

please helps me write more gooder!


B.Poster said...

I certainly see your point here. I actually think the best option, at least the optimal one, would be to simply raise the necessary troops to control and own Afghanistan outright. After all, they did attack us on 9/11/01. There ought to be some consequences for that. The mineral wealth could be used to fund the troop build up and perhaps make a dent in our national debt.

Unfortunately thats not going to happen for two primary reasons.
1.) We don't have the stomach for it. 2.)Even if we did, the two most powerful nations on earth whcih are Russia and China would not tolerate our presence there for a lengthy period of time.

Given our very limited options, I think I see what the US government is attempting to do. First of all if we can send geologists around the country exploring this would seem to suggest that we have been more successful at establishing security than the media would lead us to believe. As a declining power, the United States is going to need assistance. By briefing the Afghans on this, we may be attempting to establish that we are not trying to exploit Muslims. This has been a major argument in the press and around the world that the United States is attempting to exploit Muslims. With these actions by our government I think reasonable people can lay such nonsense to rest.

Perhaps if we handle things properly this gesture of goodwill will make the Afghan government more likely to work constructively with us and there may even be contracts for American mineral companies to extract some of these minerals. I certainly hope so.

In any event, you could be right this might be boneheaded move on our part. We have vast amounts of minerals in our own country just waiting to be extracted by someone. We just need less onerous environmental regulations in place before we can get to them.

I think that would be our best bet. Abandon Afghanistan entirely and focus on developing our own resources. The amount of jobs that would be created right here in America would be enormous and they would be all highly paid union employees. As an added bonus, the income from the development of these resources would generate massive tax revenues for the government that could be used for debt reduction. What's not to like about this?

Finally, I think the Russians and the Chinese would have discovered this, if they didn't know about it already. There scientists are generally much better than ours. We've spent to much time educating our citizens on the political correct issues of the day such as "global warming", "gay marriage", and other hot button issues on the leftist agenda. We've neglected hard science and we're paying a huge price for that.

Freedom Fighter said...

Ahhh, Poster. Still the inflated view of the Russians and Chinese, I see.

Here's the problem. No amount of 'goodwill' is going to make up for the fact that we are ferenghi and infidels, to qualities most Afghans have scant use for.

Also, President Obama has personally insulted Karzai, a lapse under pashtunwalli, the ancient tribal code of the Pashtuns that predates Islam. That isn't going to be forgiven.

Third, the place is LANDLOCKED, with no way out except hostile territory ( and yes, I consider Pakistan hostile territory). And they also know by now we have no plans of staying.

So yes, I think we're creating another Iran,with jihad funded by mineral wealth WE discovered.


B.Poster said...


Thanks for the reply to my post. I tried to reply to you but it was to lengthy. I'm going to try to get the salient points in with more brevity. Its not a matter of having an inflated view of Russia and China. It is simply having a view more in line with the facts on the ground. Even Col. Ralph Peters admitted that the Russians mobilized for the war with Georgia quicker than we could have for the same type of fight.

Typically American power is overestimated and the power of its enemies is underestimated. The reason why leftist pundits do this is likely twofold. 1.)In their eyes America must be vilified. In order to vilify something or someone, it is helpful to make them seem to be more powerful than they actually are. In addtion, we need to make its adversaries seem weaker than they actually are.
2.)It is used to lull Americans into complaceny. Our foreign adversaries are not on our level. Therefore we don't need to make the necessary investments in our military to remain competitive. For example, plans to build the next generation fighter aircraft can be scrapped or so this is how the thinking goes.

What is not so clear is why pundits on the "right" do this. In any event, I don't think any serious policy analyst makes this mistake. At least I hope not.

As a fan of Star Trek I can appreciate the ferenghi analogy. In star Trek the ferenghi are a manipulative people whose sole goal is profit. I think with our current actions we can definitively establish we are not ferenghi. I do hope Pashtun rules allow for some way to rectify the situation caused by our bumbling president. In any event, this goes far beyond Mr. Karzai. He will not be there for ever. This also goes far beyond Mr. Obama. As it stands right now, the most optimistic assessment suggests Aemrica only has a 50% chance of surviving until 2012, which would be the earliest opportunity to get Mr. Obama out.

I"m actually largely with you on this. At best, we will likely get a Saudi Arabia of minerals. In this situation, we buy the minerals and the funds are used to undermine our interests. Saudi Arabia is a de facto enemy of us as it is right now. Unfortunately this situation will likely not be much better.

The minerals were going to be discovered either by the Russians, Chinese, or the Afghans themselves. By assisting now we may be able to secure some lucrative contracts for some of our companies and perhaps secure some goodwill, if not from Mr. Karzai then from other tribal leaders. I certainly hope so. I pray this works out for us.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Poster,
Hope all's well.

As Colonel Peters would also likely tell you, the Russians mobilized as quickly as they did because they already had troops in the region,both in the breakaway region and in Chechnya. He'd also tell you that their equipment was substandard and in poor repair, and that only force of numbers decided the outcome.

FYI I'm not a Trekkie, so when I use the word ferenghi it's because it's Arabic for 'foreigner'.No other meaning is intended.

That and our being infidels limits the amount of 'goodwill' we can expect, especially given Obama's relationship with Hamid Karzai.


B.Poster said...

Thanks for clarifying your use of the term "ferenghi." Given the context, I probably should have figured that out. In all honesty, given the disparity between the cultures involved, we probably should be striving to keep our interactions between us and them to as little as possible.

Misunderstandings between the tribes of earth seem to be a major cause of conflict. Hopefully neither Mr. Karzai nor Mr. Obama are forever. In fact, I pray the United States survives long enough to replace Obama or to get him to change most of his policies.

B.Poster said...

Sorry about the multiple posts here. The biggest problems with winning a conflict with Russia are at least three fold. 1.)Russia has upgraded and expanded its nuclear arsenal in recent years. In addition, they've "hardened" their important facilities to withstand a nuclear assault. In contrast, the United States has allowed its nuclear capabilities as well as possible defenses from a nuclear attack to decay in recent years. 2.)Russia has numerous allies they can rely on in a conflict. 3.)Russia has the best intellegence services in the world. As such, their operatives would almost instantly notify their colleagues in Russia and elsewhere of our plans and actions. How do you propose we overcome these obstacles?

B.Poster said...

Our top priority for Afghanistan should now change. Before the minerals discovery I thought our top priority should be getting out immediately as soon as our transport vehicles could get our people. Now our top priority assuming it is possible should be to ensure that our mining companies get good contracts to mine these minerals or at least to ensure that we have stable access to these minerals on the open market at a fair price.

If Mr. Obama has insulted Mr. Karzai, our top diplomatic priority needs to be doing whatever it takes to make amends. Perhaps we need to replace Mr. Obama. At the very least certain pundits need to shut their mouths and put their pens down or relax their typing fingers as the case may be.

Recently a leading pundit who is in opposition to Mr. Obama refered to the Afghans and their new found wealth as "the Beverl Hillbillies according to Satan" to roughly paraphrase. The Afghans are very business savy people who no doubt knew the minerals were there and what to do with them. Such a remark is VERY INSULTING and the Afghans will no doubt pick up on this. To be blunt, the opposition to Mr. Obama may soon get a crack at this. If they are going to represent our interests properly, they will need to do a MUCH better job that to engage in such childish insults to a people from another country.

We must do the followingL 1.)Show the Afghans why we are the best to mine their minerals. 2.)For this to work out, security will be needed. Good soldiers who can provide this will be in high demand. We must show the Afghan leadership why we are the ones to do this. 3.)We must also show the Afghans and their leaders why we should have access to these minerals.

By Afghan leaders in many cases we will likely be working with individual tribal leaders as opposed to a central government. We must begin by understanding what we are dealing with. A good place to start is by not insulting them. Also, it would be helpful to remind them and the world why we are there in the first place. It is to defeat Al Qaeda and their supporters who pose an existential threat to our country. It is NOT to steal natural resources, an oil pipeline, or some other tripe that some pundit throws out.

This mineral discovery may change EVERY THING. We may FINALLY get the help from other nations we are needing to establish security.