US media are breaking reports of ‘huge’ mineral
discoveries in Afghanistan: finds ‘change the whole
ball game in the region’.

The US may have at last found a reason to make the fight against Afghanistan’s Taliban one that will go down to the wire: nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits have been discovered in Afghanistan, ‘by a team of Pentagon mineralogists’.

The new finds — which embrace iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so vast (and relevant to contemporary needs) Afghanistan could be transformed into a globally important miner, the New York Times reports.

Lithium is a vital raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys. Crucially, the value of the deposits would make Afghanistan’s existing dependence on opium production and narcotics trafficking relatively peripheral by comparison – given the the country’s gdp is somewhere between $10-15 billion now. President Karzai and his top officials have been brief on the find.

But observers are asking this afternoon: what were ‘Pentagon mineralogists’ doing there in the first place?


  1. Next step, of course, will be a massive surge in U.S. forces, and the Brits will be told, more or less politely, "Thanks for your help, guys, but we've got it covered now, you can leave."


  2. EveryoneI note that our Government is already talking about 'withdrawal'. I doubt if the Taliban will have much trouble interpreting that remark from the unlovely and spineless Liam Fox.


  3. It has been long known that Afghanistan has the cream of the most rare and precious mineral reserves on earth. The Chinese have cornered the African and South American reserves without resorting to direct warfare as a politico-commercial ploy. Afghanistan might have been valuable to sustain a oil pipe-line from the ex-USSR statelets and provide military bases for the US – but how many indigenous South Americans, Africans and Chinese military were lost in so-called wars we have been duped into believing that make our streets safer?


  4. Surely, after the massive investment we have made in attempting to bring "self-rule" to the area we should be entitled to a little payback?If that happens to be minerals that we need then that's something that we should maybe pay a little less for – unless it was what was anticipated by Mr Blair's advisors in the first place!


  5. Not sure if we should be due any payback strackers. Didn't we invade a sovereign country illegally ? If Jihadis removed the cleggerons and took control of our cities would we be willing to thank them for their efforts by giving them our wealth ?There are rumours that they have found dilithium crystals so maybe it will help us to explore new worlds at warp drive speed and annihilate them aswell.


  6. Fair point mt scotty (I'm starckers not strackers, by the way) but you shouldn't Clingon to the chance of travel faster than light. It's a warped idea – bold, yes – but fatally flawed. If you chekov the criteria in Hawking's famous tome you'll see that dilithium crystals are nowhere near powerful enough for sustained warp speed. And they're housed in a vulcanised container which is why "she canny take it" captain is so oft heard.And, you surely can't have too much confidence in a design that only allows access to the Bridge via a lift. So if the lift fails you cannot leave or enter the Bridge.See what I mean about fatal flaws?(Sorry, matron says it's time to go back to my room – we're only allowed 30 mins on the computer at a time, here at Enterprise House.)


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