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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Afghanistan considerations

You know how people used to say that if we pulled out of Iraq, the entire region would collapse? Or words to that effect. Well, I never believed that. But as to Afghanistan? I'm not so sure.

An editorial in the New York Times by Robert D. Kaplan in surprisingly plain English touches on some things that should be considered by the American people in deciding how to go forward in Afghanistan. Or to not go forward -- especially by those who think it would be so easy to just fold up shop and walk away.

And it all hinges on one huge thing that no one I know is even aware of, or if they are, they are not talking about it. That would be Afghanistan's copper and China's ability to get it mined.

IN Afghanistan’s Logar Province, just south of Kabul, the geopolitical future of Asia is becoming apparent: American troops are providing security for a Chinese state-owned company to exploit the Aynak copper reserves, which are worth tens of billions of dollars. While some of America’s NATO allies want to do as little as possible in the effort to stabilize Afghanistan, China has its eyes on some of world’s last untapped deposits of copper, iron, gold, uranium and precious gems, and is willing to take big risks in one of the most violent countries to secure them. (Beijing’s Afghan Gamble reg. req.)

The mining of Afghanistan's copper on a mass scale and over a good many years has the potential to put Afghanistan in a mini industrial age (in my opinion) and thereby dislodge the poppy crops as the main economic force driving the country.

Personally, I'm still totally wishy-washy on what we should do. Although, I'd feel a lot better about leaving if we had more confidence in the Afghanistan government.

Again, the editorial.

Posted by Marie at October 8, 2009 12:33 PM


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