Mineral deposits could influence war in Afghanistan
June 17, 2010 2 Comments
A team of U.S. geologists and Pentagon officials say they’ve discovered vast mineral wealth in war-torn Afghanistan. U.S. officials say it’s believed this discovery could have a major impact on the global economy.
It is not often that a discovery has the potential to impact the global economy, but officials say this one might. Americans discovered an estimated $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, including iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and critical industrial metals like lithium, a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and cell phones.
Warren Smith, associate publisher of WORLD Magazine, says the discovery not only impacts the global economy, but also provides key elements in aiding Afghanistan as it tries to develop legitimate industries.
“The discovery could have massive implications for the war in Afghanistan, as one of the vexing problems there is how to wean the Afghan economy off of its main cash crop — the poppy — which is the raw ingredient for heroin,” Smith says.
The illegal heroin trade not only contributes to drug problems around the world, but the black market cash supports terrorists in the region.
“Building a legitimate economy in Afghanistan could help eradicate both terrorism and the drug trade,” Smith adds.
Some critics say this discovery could be used as further excuse to continue a military presence in Afghanistan. U.S. officials say they fear China may attempt to dominate the development of the country’s mineral wealth as it already has a sizable investment in the region.