Jun 15

American Military: There’s A Trillion Dollars of Minerals in Afghanistan

Written by Legalist on Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 at 11:55 am
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Old news became news in The New York Times. Just like on the path to the Iraq war, no WMD became WMD and war was promoted in the house organ of the American military-Industral-political establishment. War was sought, war was delivered by the paper of record.

Now the US military is in trouble in Afghanistan and can’t meet President Barack Obama’s timetable for withdrawal. But look at what we got here: a trillion dollars of minerals! Conveniently, according to Pentagon.

But it’s old news. Many have known it for decades. Afghans knew it. Soviets knew it. Even the Chinese have known it and are mining it right now.

If it’s on New York Times, it must be news. The TV networks duely aired the big news.

This is the news though: the US is staying put in Afghanistan. The generals wanted time to finish the job. Now time is what they got, with help from the paper of record. But to what end?

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5 Responses to “American Military: There’s A Trillion Dollars of Minerals in Afghanistan”

  1. Legalist Says:

    I’m not sure which post goes to the main page and which goes to the letters section. Considering there hasn’t been a new post in a week. Can you bring this one to the main page?

    If it’s about natural resources, the Pentagon must have China in mind. We may want to see what commentors here say.

  2. pug_ster Says:

    I see 2 problems with US companies trying to get a piece of the pie there. Aghanistan is a landlocked country and might be difficult to get the goods out. Second, if they can extract the minerals, what are they going to do with it? Chances are that China being a neighbor, they will probably make some kind of deal to extract the minerals in exchange for developing the local economy there. Then again, maybe some dummy US company will extract the materials and sell it to Chinese companies.

  3. Legalist Says:

    I think the Pentagon-New York Times old-news story has two purposes. One is to promote the prospect of being able to make large sum of money. If there is money to be made, Americans should be the ones making it. For this to happens, the American troops must stay. The Pentagon’s motive is bare.

    The second purpose is to seed some paranoid on the possibity of China getting its hands on the minerals if the US troops don’t stay to secure them for the American companies. Basically the same motive, that is, the American troops must stay. Is the Pentagon clever? The New Yorker Times its pliable tool?

  4. Raj Says:

    Legalist, I think you’re falling foul of unfounded paranoia. The New York Times is not some right-wing, pro US military paper. Whilst it could be seen as supportive of the Democrats, Obama wants to pull troops out of Afghanistan when possible.

    It would also help if you LINKED to the article so that others could judge why the report was filed. You haven’t quoted a single line from it, let alone a chunk that might help explain the reason behind it.

    If ISAF were to remain in Afghanistan, it would have to be at the renewed invitation of the Afghani government. But even assuming that the withdrawal of foreign troops was stopped, it is hardly unreasonable to expect countries that provided them to get some sort of involvement in the mining/receipt of natural resources. It’s not like foreign troops are there because they enjoy it, they’re supposed to be doing the Afghanis (and Pakistanis, not to mention the rest of Central Asia, China, etc) a favour. If the Afghani government wants them gone and tells them to go, they will go. But it’s a bit rich to expect foreign troops to stay, for the government to be propped up by foreign aid but then the contracts to go to someone else.

    Alternatively, perhaps ISAF could withdraw and the PLA could take over. Would make sense for China to provide troops to protect its investments, especially if Chinese companies would win the mining contracts in a fair competition.

  5. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Raj:
    excellent question. I’m guessing this is the article in question:


    We can each see for ourselves what is in the article, and what might amount to personal speculation.

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