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.
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 Blackberries.
History shows us that when a desperately poor country finds itself sitting on top of a treasure trove of natural resources, it ends very, very badly for said country. Just ask most of Africa or South America.
Let the feeding frenzy begin.
(By the way, the timing of this announcement is certainly interesting, what with Congress voting on another $33 billion for our
occupations adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.)