It’s not really about making a better life for the Afghanistan population, and it is not directly about keeping America free.
It’s about iron and copper, used to make steel, and it’s about lithium used in batteries and computers.
According to the story I just read on the New York Times site, it seems that it has been newly re-discovered that Afghanistan may well have tremendous untapped reserves of the valuable metals.
Russian geologists had discovered this back when the old USSR was fighting there, but when the Soviets pulled out, they left all that behind.
While I find it hard to believe no one in the U.S. knew about this, it was not talked about at all.
The story says it would take much time to develop the mining industry there, but the income from it could more than finance the war. Isn’t that great!?
I’ve always maintained that the main reason the U.S. fights in that region is oil — well maybe for some other valuable resources too.
(I always thought there must have been some secret oil find or something in Vietnam.)
Meanwhile, China keeps developing oil fields in Iraq and has become Saudi Arabia’s number one customer for oil, I read, edging out the U.S.
It does seem distressing that we spend so much blood and treasure in that region of the world but let another nation who has criticized our moves there run away with what in another time would have been judged the “spoils of war”.
I don’t want to come off as so crass as to suggest the U.S.’s one and only reason for being there is a raw power grab, so to speak, over or for raw resources, but one does have to remind one’s self from time to time that struggles between nations and forces in the world throughout history usually involve the competition for resources.
The former German president (that nation’s ceremonial head of state) resigned recently for suggesting that German troops as part of the multi-national force in Afghanistan were looking out for the interests of Germany. He was speaking the truth, but realized that he had broken a modern post-World War II taboo in Germany and admitted to using military force to look out for the nation’s interests.
The U.S. worked hand in hand with the right wing authoritarian governments (now left wing) in Bolivia to ensure that the communists would not get control there. One of those right wing military governments executed Che Guevara, leftist revolutionary icon, for the U.S. CIA.
Today, Bolivia has a left wing government whose leader is buddy with socialist dictator and U.S. antagonist Hugo Chavez of Venezuela (an important U.S. oil source, the country is I mean to say). But our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was there the other day making nice nice with officials there, Bolivia that is.
Bolivia may have the world’s largest source of lithium deposits (as yet untapped).
As far as I am concerned, we can’t or shouldn’t run other countries’ affairs, but it does not hurt to be on good terms with them if you need their resources.
And in the case of Iraq where we have sacrificed so much, it is almost an unforgivable sin to let China, who sacrificed nothing, to get the goods.
It’s interesting that just as enthusiasm for continued fighting in Afghanistan has really started to diminish both in the U.S. and Europe (according to what I read) that the news is now divulged that, hey folks, there’s a mineral bonanza there!
Well I would hope it could at least pay for the war as the oil in Iraq did not.
Seriously, I think the U.S. needs to decide if it is really worth it to continue what is yet another U.S. quagmire of a war, now in Afghanistan, and if the answer is yes, overwhelm those who resist us with overwhelming force, occupy the nation, set things straight, and then get in on the spoils of war. If this is not possible, say we tried our best, thank all for their service and sacrifice, and leave and return home and rebuild our own nation.
Why I feel obligated to mention this, I can’t really say, but I realize that the U.S. went into Afghanistan initially and supposedly to go after Osama Bin Laden and his forces, the culprits in the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. But that effort fell by the wayside for years after George W. Bush decided to go into Iraq for reasons that may be known only to him. Then our new President Barack Obama decided that Afghanistan was the right war after all and named a new general there and sent more troops, with little to no positive effect to date (and the outlook is not good).
It seems to me that we should have set up our own provisional government there — that country did harbor those who attacked us — and set things straight, instead of putting up with a corrupt government. It may well be impossible to deal with Afghanistan, what with the stange culture and tribalism and resistance to outside influence. Others have tried though the centuries to no avail.
If that be that be the case, as I suggested in this post, thank everyone for their service and bring our forces home.
And then we should say to Afghanistan: don’t attack us again. Next time we won’t be so patient.