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  1. #1
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Default "Saudi Arabia of lithium"

    I was reading this article and it was raising some definite questions and concerns for the future of Afghanistan...


    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.
    Could this break the cycle of wars and narcotics? Would this open the doors to Afghanistan becoming a virtual colony of the US or China? For that matter, what will happen between the US and China, both of whom are quite resource hungry? What would happen if large scale mining started up in a country with few environmental protection laws and no mining history or knowlege?....
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #2
    Riva
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    ^ This means the US will never leave Afghanistan . Of course I could be wrong. They could even tomorrow.

  3. #3
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    Could this break the cycle of wars and narcotics? Would this open the doors to Afghanistan becoming a virtual colony of the US or China? For that matter, what will happen between the US and China, both of whom are quite resource hungry? What would happen if large scale mining started up in a country with few environmental protection laws and no mining history or knowledge?....
    Most of this has been seen before. Hopefully they benefit from it like the CAR's. Unfortunately, with the number of warring groups, it wouldn't surprise me if it ended up like parts of Africa, either.

    Saudi Arabia is an appropriate name, here. It would be all too easy to fuck ourselves again by letting the leaders get taken care of while the people get neglected. I think our presence would alleviate some of that, though.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  4. #4
    Riva
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    I must add, some countries find it a curse to have too many natural resources. Especially countries cursed by civil wars. It only usually gets worse with the discovery of natural resources. Many African nations are examples for this.

    But Afghanistan is under US control. They are better off under them than alone. It is believable that although they (Americans) would definitely steal more than half of the resources they would do a good job allocating them properly.

    And the longer the Americans stay there the more the human rights conditions would improve.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    I'm thinking "resource curse" is the most likely outcome, but then, Afghanistan couldn't get its shit together without resources, so maybe it'll somehow have the opposite effect this time? Dunno.

    But yeah, increased-and conflicting-intervention efforts by Pakistan, China, the US, and Russia is a certainty.

  6. #6
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Afghanistan's shit used to be together before everyone started screwing them.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  7. #7
    Riva
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    Afghanistan's shit used to be together before everyone started screwing them.
    Yes but the place was still full of shit. Who on earth would want to live in a country like Afgan. What rights did those people have. I ma not only talking about the women I am also talking about the men.

    A few 100 people used to control the whole country (like barbarians) without any form of democracy. Why? Because they had guns.

    Now that they are under the US they would have a little bit more freedom (Actually much more) than they used to have. They can do what they want to. Some man holding a gun at your face wouldn't be shooting you because you play football. It was that bad back then. Not anymore.

  8. #8
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I don't think this'll stop narcotics. People like those too much.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  9. #9
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Afghanistan had a government before the Taliban contrary to popular opinion. They didn't have the strict "moral" laws that were imposed by the Taliban. People dressed more freely, games were allowed, and God forbid, even women were educated.

    It's one of the West's greatest misunderstandings that everyone is ready for democracy. They aren't. Beliefs like that show a fundamental lack of understanding of the big picture.

    With that said, I never claimed that they weren't better off with us there. I was mostly talking about the Soviet invasion.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  10. #10
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    yeah... I'm wondering about a couple of things... there's two definitely different directions that this could take... there's the old resource curse direction that Galeano focused on in Open Veins of Latin America... talking about the difference in development of resource rich countries and resource poor countries (or at least countries perceived to be resource poor by the colonizers)... Where Afghanistan would supply the workers in a low safety, low environmental protected atmosphere to extract mineral wealth that would mostly go to the benefits of another country...

    there's also the possibility that in a more modern world where there's always someone watching and where the resources are desired by multiple countries that the country might benefit because there could end up being bidding wars for mineral rights in the country that could put Afghanistan at an advantagous position for making beneficial demands... AND it's possible that international oversight would encourage stricter laws on human rights, worker's rights and environmental protection

    it's really kind of a toss up in a way
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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