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Monday, June 14, 2010

Afghanistan: The Relevant Question

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Regarding this story:

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 BlackBerrys. The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists.


Great. We found all this shit in the ground. But... why were we looking? Why was the Pentagon looking? The only thing we should be looking for an Afghanistan—now our longest war—is a way out.

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