Humint Events Online: Pentagon: Afghanistan Has Vast Untapped Mineral Wealth

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pentagon: Afghanistan Has Vast Untapped Mineral Wealth

Wonderful... how conveeenient-- we have a new reason to justify our murder of Afghan civilians:
WASHINGTON — 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.
And if you didn't know, or guess, the war is totally bogus, and rigged:
Although the investigation is not complete, the officials suspect that at least some of these security companies — many of which have ties to top Afghan officials — are using American money to bribe the Taliban. The officials suspect that the security companies may also engage in fake fighting to increase the sense of risk on the roads, and that they may sometimes stage attacks against competitors.

The suspicions raise fundamental questions about the conduct of operations here, since the convoys, and the supplies they deliver, are the lifeblood of the war effort.

“We’re funding both sides of the war,” a NATO official in Kabul said. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was incomplete, said he believed millions of dollars were making their way to the Taliban.

And, if you want the funny on the mineral story, there's some good jokes here (plus comments).

UPDATE: Is this article the most obvious propaganda for a very unpopular war, or what?
Were it not for the byline of James Risen, a New York Times reporter currently in a legal battle with the Obama administration over the identity of his sources, a second read of his blockbuster A1 story this morning, U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan, would engender some fairly acute skepticism. For one, a simple Google search identifies any number of previous stories with similar details.

The Bush Administration concluded in 2007 that Afghanistan was potentially sitting on a goldmine of mineral resources and that this fact ought to become a central point of U.S. policy in bolstering the government.

The Soviets knew this in 1985 (snip).

A former senior State Department official said that regular discussions between the U.S. and the Karzai government over how to best exploit the resources for potential future use were ongoing when he was privy to those discussions around 2006.

By 2009, the government had already begun to solicit bids for various mining opportunities.

Jonathan Landay of McClatchy was on to the geopolitical importance of Afghanistan's mineral reserves in 2009, writing that China's thirst for coal might be the key to regional stabilization.

Already, there are accusations that the REAL reason the US is in Afghanistan is because WE want to exploit those mines. (snip)

The general perception about the war here and overseas is that the counterinsurgency strategy has failed to prop up Hamid Karzai's government in critical areas, and is destined to ultimately fail. This is not how the war was supposed to be going, according to the theorists and policy planners in the Pentagon's policy shop.

What better way to remind people about the country's potential bright future -- and by people I mean the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis, and the Americans -- than by publicizing or re-publicizing valid (but already public) information about the region's potential wealth?

The Obama administration and the military know that a page-one, throat-clearing New York Times story will get instant worldwide attention. The story is accurate, but the news is not that new; let's think a bit harder about the context.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you catch how they allegedly found this "great mineral treasure."

Page 2 of that NYT reference includes that it was assayed from

"an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft."

Anonymous Physicist

9:19 AM  
Blogger spooked said...

Thanks, AP. Didn't see that, I only read the read page. Oy, that's bad.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, I think the whole thing is bogus.

Probably they had this story ready to go when public opinion turned against the bogus war. And it was probably originally about finding oil. But right now [BP leak] "oil, bad," minerals good.

Of course, if they flew an Orion P3 over the Bronx, they'd find "iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and lithium."

Hell, if you checked, you can learn that all those minerals are in people too.

Maybe the Orion assayed all the bodies in caves or such.


10:37 AM  
Blogger spooked said...

Yeah, good point. The timing of this is awfully suspicious. The good thin seems to be that lots of people (judging from other sites) see the obvious propaganda here.

10:49 AM  
Blogger spooked said...

Looks like this is definitely some timely propaganda:

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also note how they knew which mineral to play up, at this time.

"Hey folks, you like your laptops? Well hell, you all need lithium, and they got lots here. So support our perennial war here."


11:31 AM  

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