U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com: "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."
Well, a previous copper deposit was tapped by the Chinese not so long ago. According to this article an Afghan minister was bribed with $30m. Even if the minister is no longer in service, it was of course a set-back that Afghanistan did not give this project to countries which are dying on their soil for their liberty.
The time it will take for the Afghans to develop these finds is apparently a decade or two. But it could come as from heaven sent for the Afghans to pay for their security, even if it can be read between the lines that a future for Karzai might be with his Taleban pashtuns. It has earlier been estimated that Karzai would need support for his army during many a year forward before the Afghan economy would sustain it.
As a supplement to the criminally infested opium trade a source of legal tender which would emanate from the mining operations would of course potentially straighten out the very fiber of the Afghan society. Something to build a functioning state on. It is interesting if this find have anything to do with the departure of the German president? What kind of moral would one like to make on reasons for staying on in Afghanistan if lithium from Afghanistan would fuel German and American car batteries in the future?
I don't know what kind of deal the Chinese gave Afghanistan on the large copper mine but Iraq apparently suffer from lack of foreign investments due to the fact that they want to keep most of the oil for themselves. Who takes the risk and who is going to get what profit? Pakistan seems to be friendly with the Talebans and they are very anti-American, and pro-China, from who they got the atom bomb. Afghanistan would want to do business with their "friends". What if Afghanistan wants to develop their mining with China rather than with the West?
The Russians had apparently found the deposits when they were around prior to 1989. That would have been colonization. Voices would be raised in the West, and elsewhere, if the West colonized Afghanistan. Karzai has been complaining in this direction even if the US never really colonized a country based on their own history. Therefore, this pot of gold might actually complicate things rather than simplifying matters. Let's hope Karzai does not lose confidence in the West and that he tries to develop this relation for optimal utilization and future well being of the Afghan people.