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June 14, 2010

Oh By The Way, Turns Out Afghanistan Is Sitting On Some Of The World's Largest Mineral Deposits

Why is all the good stuff always under the worst places in the world?

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. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

That last thought is a nice one but if the Taliban was willing to fight so hard for the country when it was a dirt poor wasteland, I'm thinking their interest in winning has only gone up. And when I say 'the Taliban' I really mean the Saudis, Pakistanis and everyone else on the planet. Anything that draws the strategic interest of Russia and China is rarely helpful to us.

Most people seem to think Obama is committed to bugging out of Afghanistan starting next year. Will this new variable have an effect on that or will his desire to placate the left heading into '12 outweigh all other considerations? If these new mineral deposits are seen has having an impact on his decision expect to see "No Blood for BlackBerrys" signs.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:50 AM

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