The Future of Afghanistan

The future lies in the mines.  The copper, iron, lithium, and other rare earth metals mines to be precise, according to the Pentagon as reported in the New York Times.  Other minerals include cobalt, gold, and lithium, minerals which are critical to a modern industrial economy.  These deposits are so big that they are reportedly now considered they key to turning Afghanistan completely around.

Without delving into the history of the discovery of the mineral deposits (the Soviets knew about them in the 1980s and they were hidden from the Taliban) to much the United States is aggressively working to set the Afghan government with multinational accounting firms who specialize in mining and multinational corporations with expertise in mineral deposits because the Afghan Ministry of Mines is not up to the task.  Yet.  According to  US officials the goal is to get them there soon.

The reality is this could be the tipping point of the Afghan war.  Impoverished people who have nothing to live for will flee into the Taliban’s hands for protection and purpose.  A country with the ability to fend for itself via its own national resources stands a much better chance of turning itself around by providing for its people a living wage capable of bringing up their standard of living.  Not to mention that secure income will entice citizens to not flee into the hands of the Taliban.  This really could be the tipping point in Afghanistan.

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One Response to The Future of Afghanistan

  1. Jared says:

    I do want to add this: natural resources is no guarantee of economic growth. In fact I learned in my Economic Growth and Development class that natural resources can actually be a curse.

    Without going into detail about the number of countries this has happened too, I want to point you in the direction of this article (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aZ2R54nvwXqY) by Amity Shlaes on Bloomberg.com. She makes that argument. Ultimately we must be careful or the mineral resources in Afghanistan will provide absolutely no economic boon to the country.

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