Pentagon leaks "Vast Riches in Afghanistan" to gain support for new offensive

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Offline Optimus

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U.S. Discovers Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html

                                         
                                                                             Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

A bleak Ghazni Province seems to offer little, but a Pentagon study says it may have among the world’s largest deposits of lithium.

By JAMES RISEN
Published: June 13, 2010

WASHINGTON — 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.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and Blackberries.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.

So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.

Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.

The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.

Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts. Afghanistan has a national mining law, written with the help of advisers from the World Bank, but it has never faced a serious challenge.

“No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a fight between the central government and the provinces,” observed Paul A. Brinkley, undersecretary of defense and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.

At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible?” Mr. Brinkley said. “No one knows how this will work.”

With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully. “This is a country that has no mining culture,” said Jack Medlin, a geologist in the United States Geological Survey’s international affairs program. “They’ve had some small artisanal mines, but now there could be some very, very large mines that will require more than just a gold pan.”

The mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country, including in the southern and eastern regions along the border with Pakistan that have had some of the most intense combat in the American-led war against the Taliban insurgency.

The Pentagon task force has already started trying to help the Afghans set up a system to deal with mineral development. International accounting firms that have expertise in mining contracts have been hired to consult with the Afghan Ministry of Mines, and technical data is being prepared to turn over to multinational mining companies and other potential foreign investors. The Pentagon is helping Afghan officials arrange to start seeking bids on mineral rights by next fall, officials said.

“The Ministry of Mines is not ready to handle this,” Mr. Brinkley said. “We are trying to help them get ready.”

Like much of the recent history of the country, the story of the discovery of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is one of missed opportunities and the distractions of war.

(Page 2 of 2)

In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989.

During the chaos of the 1990s, when Afghanistan was mired in civil war and later ruled by the Taliban, a small group of Afghan geologists protected the charts by taking them home, and returned them to the Geological Survey’s library only after the American invasion and the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.

“There were maps, but the development did not take place, because you had 30 to 35 years of war,” said Ahmad Hujabre, an Afghan engineer who worked for the Ministry of Mines in the 1970s.

Armed with the old Russian charts, the United States Geological Survey began a series of aerial surveys of Afghanistan’s mineral resources in 2006, using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.

The data from those flights was so promising that in 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study, using an old British bomber equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted.

The handful of American geologists who pored over the new data said the results were astonishing.

But the results gathered dust for two more years, ignored by officials in both the American and Afghan governments. In 2009, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq was transferred to Afghanistan, and came upon the geological data. Until then, no one besides the geologists had bothered to look at the information — and no one had sought to translate the technical data to measure the potential economic value of the mineral deposits.

Soon, the Pentagon business development task force brought in teams of American mining experts to validate the survey’s findings, and then briefed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Mr. Karzai.

So far, the biggest mineral deposits discovered are of iron and copper, and the quantities are large enough to make Afghanistan a major world producer of both, United States officials said. Other finds include large deposits of niobium, a soft metal used in producing superconducting steel, rare earth elements and large gold deposits in Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan.

Just this month, American geologists working with the Pentagon team have been conducting ground surveys on dry salt lakes in western Afghanistan where they believe there are large deposits of lithium. Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni Province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large of those of Bolivia, which now has the world’s largest known lithium reserves.

For the geologists who are now scouring some of the most remote stretches of Afghanistan to complete the technical studies necessary before the international bidding process is begun, there is a growing sense that they are in the midst of one of the great discoveries of their careers.

“On the ground, it’s very, very, promising,” Mr. Medlin said. “Actually, it’s pretty amazing.”
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Offline DM

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I was just about to post this article.  Nice find.

Offline larsonstdoc

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  You wonder how long the USA has known about this.  I would say for years.
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Offline Letsbereal

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Is it time for "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: Part 2, the 21st Century paradigm"? Yet presumably not all is as expected: "Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact. Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country."

Which is why it will be best to have the US military not only stay in Afghanistan indefinitely but to get a million man reinforcement surge. After all now that it is finally becoming clear that the most recent US state is located somewhere in the middle of Asia, things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.

From Zero Hedge:

US "Discovers" Nearly $1 Trillion In Mineral Deposits In Afghanistan
13 June 2010
, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/us-discovers-nearly-1-trillion-mineral-deposits-afghanistan
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Offline Unintelligable Name

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Newfound my ass, they've known since day one.

Offline oyashango

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U.S. Identifies $1 Trillion in Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2010, 11:53:51 PM »
This find is NOT good news. It might mean a protracted and even more costly war even if it brings down this nation.
===========

U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

By JAMES RISEN
Published: June 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html?no_interstitial

WASHINGTON — 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.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.

So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.

Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.

The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.

Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts. Afghanistan has a national mining law, written with the help of advisers from the World Bank, but it has never faced a serious challenge.

“No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a fight between the central government and the provinces,” observed Paul A. Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense for business and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.

At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible?” Mr. Brinkley said. “No one knows how this will work.”

With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully. “This is a country that has no mining culture,” said Jack Medlin, a geologist in the United States Geological Survey’s international affairs program. “They’ve had some small artisanal mines, but now there could be some very, very large mines that will require more than just a gold pan.”

The mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country, including in the southern and eastern regions along the border with Pakistan that have had some of the most intense combat in the American-led war against the Taliban insurgency.

The Pentagon task force has already started trying to help the Afghans set up a system to deal with mineral development. International accounting firms that have expertise in mining contracts have been hired to consult with the Afghan Ministry of Mines, and technical data is being prepared to turn over to multinational mining companies and other potential foreign investors. The Pentagon is helping Afghan officials arrange to start seeking bids on mineral rights by next fall, officials said.

“The Ministry of Mines is not ready to handle this,” Mr. Brinkley said. “We are trying to help them get ready.”

Like much of the recent history of the country, the story of the discovery of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is one of missed opportunities and the distractions of war.

In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989.

During the chaos of the 1990s, when Afghanistan was mired in civil war and later ruled by the Taliban, a small group of Afghan geologists protected the charts by taking them home, and returned them to the Geological Survey’s library only after the American invasion and the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.

“There were maps, but the development did not take place, because you had 30 to 35 years of war,” said Ahmad Hujabre, an Afghan engineer who worked for the Ministry of Mines in the 1970s.

Armed with the old Russian charts, the United States Geological Survey began a series of aerial surveys of Afghanistan’s mineral resources in 2006, using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.

The data from those flights was so promising that in 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study, using an old British bomber equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted.

The handful of American geologists who pored over the new data said the results were astonishing.

But the results gathered dust for two more years, ignored by officials in both the American and Afghan governments. In 2009, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq was transferred to Afghanistan, and came upon the geological data. Until then, no one besides the geologists had bothered to look at the information — and no one had sought to translate the technical data to measure the potential economic value of the mineral deposits.

Soon, the Pentagon business development task force brought in teams of American mining experts to validate the survey’s findings, and then briefed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Mr. Karzai.

So far, the biggest mineral deposits discovered are of iron and copper, and the quantities are large enough to make Afghanistan a major world producer of both, United States officials said. Other finds include large deposits of niobium, a soft metal used in producing superconducting steel, rare earth elements and large gold deposits in Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan.

Just this month, American geologists working with the Pentagon team have been conducting ground surveys on dry salt lakes in western Afghanistan where they believe there are large deposits of lithium. Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni Province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large of those of Bolivia, which now has the world’s largest known lithium reserves.

For the geologists who are now scouring some of the most remote stretches of Afghanistan to complete the technical studies necessary before the international bidding process is begun, there is a growing sense that they are in the midst of one of the great discoveries of their careers.

“On the ground, it’s very, very, promising,” Mr. Medlin said. “Actually, it’s pretty amazing.”




Offline nustada

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Lithium is NOT a rare atom, it is as common as chlorine. Its not the cost of finding it that drives its price, but the cost of preserving, handling and and transporting it in its pure form, as it oxidizes quickly. So, in other words, local lithium has more worth, than lithium across the ocean.

My guess, is the reason for this article, is probably, that lithium is going to be a pseudonym for poppies on income reports.

Offline changedname

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Oh great! This war has lasted almost 10 years now and will be at least another 10 years at least now!!! Unless of course the military makes a stand and says ..Hell NO!!

Offline chrisfromchi

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U.S discovers Unobtainium in Afgahnistan
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 12:10:42 AM »

U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — 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.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html

Offline Lannister

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Re: Pentagon Raping and Pilaging Afghanistan to Fund/Extend Illegal Wars
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 12:33:41 AM »
Was about to post this one too lol.

Makes you wonder if this knowledge pre-dates the Afghanistan occupation...

Offline Letsbereal

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Re: Pentagon Raping and Pilaging Afghanistan to Fund/Extend Illegal Wars
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 12:34:51 AM »
seems an other propaganda stunt to cover up 9 years of bs.

Apparently, the Soviets knew about those resources in the 70s, so logic dictates that the US has know about them since at least then.

Quoting from: http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/rwinslow/asia_pacific/afghanistan.html

Afghanistan is endowed with a wealth of natural resources, including extensive deposits of natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, and precious and semiprecious stones. In the 1970s the Soviets estimated Afghanistan had as much as five trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, 95 million barrels of oil and condensate reserves, and 400 million tons of coal. Unfortunately, ongoing instability in certain areas of the country, remote and rugged terrain, and inadequate infrastructure and transportation network have made mining these resources difficult, and there have been few serious attempts to further explore or exploit them.
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Offline Dig

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Is this why Rumsfeld said the war would pay for itself?

90% of the world's opium is not enough?

unocal's gas pipeline is not enough?

forward operating bases bordering Russia and Iran is not enough?

How is the NY Times not indicted for provocing continued genocide?

WTF?

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline winthorp

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We're there for Osama Bin Laden  ;)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge - Hosea 4:6

Offline InfoArsenal

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You know what's so ironic is if the US just admitted they were evil and cut the people in on some of the scraps people might go along with them a lot more.

The way things are now is mega corps loot everything and destroy you country hoping that they will somehow be able to kill all of you and use green propaganda and a magical negro as a distraction.

I guess the people really are that dumb?

Offline kevlar442

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Oh great, more Lithium Carbonate for the "alleged bi-polar" masses.  Um, why is the military looking for resources?  I thought we were there to grow opium and marijuana/hunt the boogieman/nationbuild.  I guess I have it wrong again lol.
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Offline Brocke

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Newfound my ass, they've known since day one.

With rich oil and natural gas deposits mining for minerals will be very cheap. You don't have to supply the fuel. It is already there.



Published in American Free Press of January 7, 2002 (Written in October 2001)

As a nation, Afghanistan is poor. But there's a world of treasure beneath the surface of the landscape.

Exclusive to American Free Press
By Christopher Bollyn

Afghanistan has an extraordinary abundance of rare and strategic minerals-now all within easy reach of the global planners who installed a puppet government that they both control and protect.

Pipelines transporting the immense gas and oil reserves of Central Asia and the Caspian basin to global markets will undoubtedly play an important role in Afghanistan's future, but the country's abundance of strategic minerals has the potential to greatly enrich the Afghans-if the wealth of the nation is not plundered.

Afghanistan has rich and extensive mineral resources including

gold
silver
uranium
beryllium
copper
chrome
lead
zinc
manganese
iron
nickel.

Lapis lazuli
amethyst
beryl
ruby
emerald
sapphire
alabaster
tourmaline
jade, and
quartz


are just some of the precious and semiprecious gemstones that have been mined in the country for centuries.

California-based geologist Bonita Chamberlin, who spent 25 years exploring the country, is convinced that Afghanistan's vast mineral deposits including oil and natural gas and gemstones could bring the nation great wealth.

Chamberlin co-authored with Gary Bowersox, Gem stones of Afghanistan,
(1995) regarded as the original and most complete study of Afghanistan's gems and minerals.

Chamberlin told American Free Press that she had identified 91 minerals, metals and gems at 1,407 documented potential mining sites in Afghanistan. These sites also contain solid combustible minerals, metallic and non-metallic minerals, rare metals, radioactive elements, precious metals and gemstones, salt and industrial minerals.

Beryllium and uranium are among the minerals in Afghanistan of the greatest strategic value, Chamberlin told AFP.

Chamberlin began surveying Afghanistan in the mid-1970s while working with companies cultivating cotton and grapes. The scope of her work changed during the Soviet invasion when heavy bombing uncovered significant de posits of rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other gemstones.

Afghanistan has plentiful mineral wealth due to the collision of the Indian subcontinent with the Asian continent, which trapped and combined chemicals from ancient seas with those from the land under tremendous geologic pressures. This collision "formed minerals that exist in very few places in the world," Chamberlin said.

Afghans are only lacking the infrastructure to exploit their nation's mineral wealth, Chamberlin said. "The people just need the expertise and the direction."

When the required infrastructure is developed, Afghans "could rule the world," Chamberlin told the Culver City Rock and Mineral Club in California.

BERYLLIUM

Beryllium is a strategic and essential material used in the aerospace, energy, defense, nuclear, automotive, medical and electronics industries.

A unique metal with properties unmatched by any other metal, beryllium is both extremely light and strong. It is one-third lighter than aluminum but six times stiffer than steel. It also has one of the highest melting points of the light metals.

Beryllium is used in the nuclear industry in fusion reactors and in the construction of nuclear devices for military applications. Beryllium alloys are essential structural materials for the production of high-speed aircraft, including the space shuttle and the new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), missiles, surveillance and communication satellites. It is also used in Apache helicopters, tanks, and aircraft landing gear components.

Military electronic targeting and infrared countermeasure systems use high beryllium content components, as do advanced missile and radar navigation systems.

Beryllium alloys are used in battery contacts and electronic connectors in cell phones. Beryllium-copper provides the high reliability and miniaturization needed in these applications. FM radio, high-definition and cable television and underwater fiber optic cable systems all depend on beryllium.

Computer and laser technologies require beryllium. It is used in computers where lightness and stiffness are required. As computers get smaller, lighter and faster, the beryllium-copper alloy is often the only material that meets the demands.

RUBIES & SAPPHIRES

Afghanistan possesses rich gem deposits, many of which are used in lasers and advanced weapons technologies. Rubies have been used in lasers since laser technology was first developed.

Historical accounts indicate that the ruby mines of Badakhshan in Afghanistan were the source of many of the finest and largest rubies in gem collections around the world, such as those in the crown jewels of Iran, the collection in Istanbul's Topkapi, Russia's Kremlin and England's Tower of London.

Sapphire is used in Lockheed Martin's latest laser targeting system, "Sniper," which is used on U. S. fighters. The Sniper has a sapphire window and will be used on the new Lockheed Martin JSF.

Sniper's window is made of sapphire because it is extraordinarily durable and transmits a wide range of wavelengths. Tests have shown that the window was unharmed after being struck by a piece of granite traveling at 197 miles per hour and a metal nut at 150 miles per hour. The rock shattered and the nut was bent but Sniper's sapphire window suffered no damage.

OIL & GAS

Afghanistan has significant oil and gas deposits of its own. "Afghanistan has one of the largest, if not the largest, reserve of natural gas, which was already being tapped by the Soviets prior to their invasion," Chamberlin said.

At its peak in the late 1970s, Afghanistan supplied 70 percent to 90 percent of its natural gas output to the Soviet Union's natural gas grid via a link through Uzbekistan.

Although the Soviets estimated Afghanistan's proven and probable natural gas reserves to be 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and its oil and condensate reserves at 95 million barrels in the 1970s, current estimates range much higher.

Afghan natural gas production reached 275 million cubic feet per day
(mcf/d) in the mid-1970s but output fell to about 220 mcf/d due to declining reserves from producing fields. In 1980 the Jorquduq field was brought online and was expected to boost the nation's natural gas output to
385 mcf/d by the early 1980s.

Oil exploration and development work as well as plans to build a 10,000 barrels per day refinery were halted after the 1979 Soviet invasion.

Sabotage of infrastructure by the anti-Soviet muja hideen fighters limited the country's total production to 290 mcf/d, an output level that held fairly steady until the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

In February 1998, the Taliban announced plans to revive the Afghan National Oil Company, which was abolished by the Soviet Union after it invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

U. S. OIL STRATEGY

Afghanistan occupies a central position in the U. S. strategy for the economic control of the oil and gas resources in the entire Middle East, according to experts .

Current estimates indicate that, in addition to huge gas deposits, the Caspian basin may hold as much as 200 billion barrels of oil-33 times the estimated holdings of Alaska's North Slope.

V. R. Raghavan, a strategic analyst and former general in the Indian army, believes that the prospect of a western military presence in a region extending from Turkey to Tajikistan could not have escaped the geo-political strategists who waged the military campaign in Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime and replace it with a government they could control and protect-with a multinational army.

In 1998, the California-based petroleum giant UNOCAL, which held 46.5 percent stakes in Central Asia Gas (CentGas), a consortium that planned an ambitious gas pipeline across Afghanistan, withdrew in frustration after several fruitless years.

The pipeline was to stretch 762 miles from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad fields to Multan in Pakistan at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion. An additional $600 million would have brought the pipeline to energy-hungry India.

Among the many advantages of the Afghanistan route, according to experts from the oil and gas industry, is that it would terminate in the Arabian Sea, close to key Asian markets.

Vice President Dick Cheney, as CEO of Halliburton, a major player in the oil industry, told oil industry executives in 1998, "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly, to become as strategically significant, as the Caspian."
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Offline frenchlifeboat

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U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2010, 08:20:09 AM »
Finders Keepers.

Sounds like another good reason to NEVER leave. (oil/gas pipelines, the worlds opium supply etc) 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html?hp

WASHINGTON — 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.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.

So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.

Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.

The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.

Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts. Afghanistan has a national mining law, written with the help of advisers from the World Bank, but it has never faced a serious challenge.

“No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a fight between the central government and the provinces,” observed Paul A. Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense for business and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.

At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible?” Mr. Brinkley said. “No one knows how this will work.”

With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully. “This is a country that has no mining culture,” said Jack Medlin, a geologist in the United States Geological Survey’s international affairs program. “They’ve had some small artisanal mines, but now there could be some very, very large mines that will require more than just a gold pan.”

The mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country, including in the southern and eastern regions along the border with Pakistan that have had some of the most intense combat in the American-led war against the Taliban insurgency

The Pentagon task force has already started trying to help the Afghans set up a system to deal with mineral development. International accounting firms that have expertise in mining contracts have been hired to consult with the Afghan Ministry of Mines, and technical data is being prepared to turn over to multinational mining companies and other potential foreign investors. The Pentagon is helping Afghan officials arrange to start seeking bids on mineral rights by next fall, officials said.



“The Ministry of Mines is not ready to handle this,” Mr. Brinkley said. “We are trying to help them get ready.”

Like much of the recent history of the country, the story of the discovery of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is one of missed opportunities and the distractions of war.

In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989.

During the chaos of the 1990s, when Afghanistan was mired in civil war and later ruled by the Taliban, a small group of Afghan geologists protected the charts by taking them home, and returned them to the Geological Survey’s library only after the American invasion and the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.

“There were maps, but the development did not take place, because you had 30 to 35 years of war,” said Ahmad Hujabre, an Afghan engineer who worked for the Ministry of Mines in the 1970s.

Armed with the old Russian charts, the United States Geological Survey began a series of aerial surveys of Afghanistan’s mineral resources in 2006, using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.

The data from those flights was so promising that in 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study, using an old British bomber equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted.

The handful of American geologists who pored over the new data said the results were astonishing.

But the results gathered dust for two more years, ignored by officials in both the American and Afghan governments. In 2009, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq was transferred to Afghanistan, and came upon the geological data. Until then, no one besides the geologists had bothered to look at the information — and no one had sought to translate the technical data to measure the potential economic value of the mineral deposits.

Soon, the Pentagon business development task force brought in teams of American mining experts to validate the survey’s findings, and then briefed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Mr. Karzai.

So far, the biggest mineral deposits discovered are of iron and copper, and the quantities are large enough to make Afghanistan a major world producer of both, United States officials said. Other finds include large deposits of niobium, a soft metal used in producing superconducting steel, rare earth elements and large gold deposits in Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan.

Just this month, American geologists working with the Pentagon team have been conducting ground surveys on dry salt lakes in western Afghanistan where they believe there are large deposits of lithium. Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni Province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large of those of Bolivia, which now has the world’s largest known lithium reserves.

For the geologists who are now scouring some of the most remote stretches of Afghanistan to complete the technical studies necessary before the international bidding process is begun, there is a growing sense that they are in the midst of one of the great discoveries of their careers.

“On the ground, it’s very, very, promising,” Mr. Medlin said. “Actually, it’s pretty amazing.”


Offline RabidSheep

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  You wonder how long the USA has known about this.  I would say for years.

At least 10 to 15. Seismic data has been taken in Afghanistan before. In 2004 the government created a report:

http://www.petroleumequities.com/Afghancloseout.pdf


Offline BruntFCA2

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Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2010, 08:36:06 AM »
There's gold in them thar hills!

Sounds like bull to suppress the gold price. So far the wars have cost thousands of lives and over a Trillion US. By the time they can dig it out, maybe it will be wroth 10 Trillion. Remember this is potential REAL wealth not the "funny money" which the Feds can create almost unlimited amounts.

My guess though it' just bull or exaggerated. Pretty sure the Taliban will make it as expensive as possible for anyone to dig it out.

The weirdest thing is that the whole Middle East seems to be unfolding like that great book "DUNE". Spice (oil/gold) is everywhere and the Harkonnen (US) is desperate to mine it at any cost - meanwhile, the "Fremen" make it as hard as possible. If you've not read the book, "DUNE," I can highly recommend it.

Offline bigron

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Afghanistan's 'Vast Riches Of Minerals' Highlighted By Pentagon

First Posted: 06-14-10 07:42 AM   |   Updated: 06-14-10 09:20 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/14/afghanistans-vast-riches_n_610869.html




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 New York Times' James Risen reported on Monday.

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.

Yet Blake Hounshell of Foreign Policy magazine sounds some notes of skepticism about the Times report, coming as it does after an array of grim news reports about the status of the Afghan war.

Read a little more carefully, though, and you realize that there's less to this scoop than meets the eye. For one thing, the findings on which the story was based are online and have been since 2007, courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey. More information is available on the Afghan mining ministry's website, including a report by the British Geological Survey (and there's more here). You can also take a look at the USGS's documentation of the airborne part of the survey here, including the full set of aerial photographs.

Nowhere have I found that $1 trillion figure mentioned, which Risen says was generated by a Pentagon task force looking to help the Afghan government develop its resources (looking at the chart accompanying the article, though, it appears to be a straightforward tabulation of the total reserve figures for each mineral times current the current market price). According to Risen, that task force has begun prepping the mining ministry to start soliciting bids for mineral rights in the fall.


Indeed, opponents of the war have questioned whether Monday's Times story is the Pentagon's latest attempt to persuade an increasingly frustrated American public that Afghanistan is worth the costs in blood and treasure.

The Times story notes that an "internal Pentagon memo" asserted that Afghanistan could become "the 'Saudi Arabia of lithium,' a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and Blackberries," and also features an interview with Gen. David Petraeus in which he claims of Afghanistan, "There is stunning potential here."


Offline TheHouseMan

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U.S. Discovers Est. $1 Trillion of Minerals in Afghanistan
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2010, 10:08:44 AM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html

U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

By JAMES RISEN
Published: June 13, 2010

WASHINGTON — 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.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.

So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.

Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.

The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.

Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts. Afghanistan has a national mining law, written with the help of advisers from the World Bank, but it has never faced a serious challenge.

“No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a fight between the central government and the provinces,” observed Paul A. Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense for business and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.

At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible?” Mr. Brinkley said. “No one knows how this will work.”

With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully. “This is a country that has no mining culture,” said Jack Medlin, a geologist in the United States Geological Survey’s international affairs program. “They’ve had some small artisanal mines, but now there could be some very, very large mines that will require more than just a gold pan.”

The mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country, including in the southern and eastern regions along the border with Pakistan that have had some of the most intense combat in the American-led war against the Taliban insurgency.

The Pentagon task force has already started trying to help the Afghans set up a system to deal with mineral development. International accounting firms that have expertise in mining contracts have been hired to consult with the Afghan Ministry of Mines, and technical data is being prepared to turn over to multinational mining companies and other potential foreign investors. The Pentagon is helping Afghan officials arrange to start seeking bids on mineral rights by next fall, officials said.

“The Ministry of Mines is not ready to handle this,” Mr. Brinkley said. “We are trying to help them get ready.”

Like much of the recent history of the country, the story of the discovery of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is one of missed opportunities and the distractions of war.

In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989.

During the chaos of the 1990s, when Afghanistan was mired in civil war and later ruled by the Taliban, a small group of Afghan geologists protected the charts by taking them home, and returned them to the Geological Survey’s library only after the American invasion and the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.

“There were maps, but the development did not take place, because you had 30 to 35 years of war,” said Ahmad Hujabre, an Afghan engineer who worked for the Ministry of Mines in the 1970s.

Armed with the old Russian charts, the United States Geological Survey began a series of aerial surveys of Afghanistan’s mineral resources in 2006, using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.

The data from those flights was so promising that in 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study, using an old British bomber equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted.

The handful of American geologists who pored over the new data said the results were astonishing.

But the results gathered dust for two more years, ignored by officials in both the American and Afghan governments. In 2009, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq was transferred to Afghanistan, and came upon the geological data. Until then, no one besides the geologists had bothered to look at the information — and no one had sought to translate the technical data to measure the potential economic value of the mineral deposits.

Soon, the Pentagon business development task force brought in teams of American mining experts to validate the survey’s findings, and then briefed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Mr. Karzai.

So far, the biggest mineral deposits discovered are of iron and copper, and the quantities are large enough to make Afghanistan a major world producer of both, United States officials said. Other finds include large deposits of niobium, a soft metal used in producing superconducting steel, rare earth elements and large gold deposits in Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan.

Just this month, American geologists working with the Pentagon team have been conducting ground surveys on dry salt lakes in western Afghanistan where they believe there are large deposits of lithium. Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni Province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large of those of Bolivia, which now has the world’s largest known lithium reserves.

For the geologists who are now scouring some of the most remote stretches of Afghanistan to complete the technical studies necessary before the international bidding process is begun, there is a growing sense that they are in the midst of one of the great discoveries of their careers.

“On the ground, it’s very, very, promising,” Mr. Medlin said. “Actually, it’s pretty amazing.”

Offline Georgiacopguy

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Every article or news snip I've read or heard about this mentions the lithium, and blackberrys and laptops, I surmise in an effort to appeal to peoples tech addictions. Love to see the media follow the government scripts so dilligently.
The resistance starts here. Unfortunately, the entire thing is moving beyond the intellectual infowar. I vow I will not make an overt rush at violent authority, until authority makes it's violent rush at me and you. I will not falter, I will not die in this course. For that is how they win.

Offline NikkiC

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  • Hey Bilderberg, the people smell the Bilderturd.
Now they will use American military men and sacrifice many of them to get the "Vast riches of Afghanistan".


STAND UP MILITARY MEN - YOU ARE HONORABLE MEN TO DEFEND THE COUNTRY - DON'T ALLOW THESE CORRUPT BASTARDS TO USE YOU AS SOME KIND OF SS.
Spread the word about Bilderberg !!!! Expose them, wake the people up worldwide.

carlee

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WASHINGTON — 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.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.

So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.

Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.

The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.

Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts. Afghanistan has a national mining law, written with the help of advisers from the World Bank, but it has never faced a serious challenge.

“No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a fight between the central government and the provinces,” observed Paul A. Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense for business and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.

At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible?” Mr. Brinkley said. “No one knows how this will work.”

With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully. “This is a country that has no mining culture,” said Jack Medlin, a geologist in the United States Geological Survey’s international affairs program. “They’ve had some small artisanal mines, but now there could be some very, very large mines that will require more than just a gold pan.”

The mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country, including in the southern and eastern regions along the border with Pakistan that have had some of the most intense combat in the American-led war against the Taliban insurgency.
http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-9244-0-25-25--.html

Offline Letsbereal

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->>>|:-) THE CITY INDIANS (-:|<<<-

Offline Overcast

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  You wonder how long the USA has known about this.  I would say for years.

Yes, indeed.
And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

Offline Dig

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How come the NY Times is not under grand jury investigation for promoting genocide?
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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"Hey middle class America...don't worry that we stole $28 Trillion from you, we found $1 Trillion in the middle of a 9 year warzone that has cost you over 1 million in PTSD casualties and over $10 Trillion in debt while exterminating over 2 million brown people and laying the responsibility on 'you the people'. See, your master loves you. Now be a good slave and lick our boots!"
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline bigron

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Trillion-Dollar Bash:

Mineral Find Means More Blood Money in Afghan War


by Chris Floyd

http://uruknet.info/?p=m67012&hd=&size=1&l=e

June 14, 2010



The New York Times reports on the discovery by American geologists that Afghanistan contains "vast riches" in untapped mineral deposits: at least $1 trillion worth -- including huge troves of lithium, "a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys," as the paper breathlessly relates.

Unfortunately, given the realities of our world, one's first reaction to such news is not a cheery "How nice for the Afghan people!" but rather a heart-sinking, dread-clammy "Uh oh." For what this discovery almost certainly portends are many more decades of war, warlordism and foreign intervention, as the forces of greed and power fight like hyenas to tear off the juiciest chunks of this windfall.

It also guarantees many more years of American military occupation (in one guise or another); there is absolutely no chance that our Beltway banditti (and their corporate cronies) are simply going to walk away from a stash like this, not when they've already got "boots on the ground" -- and billions of dollars in war pork invested in the place. It's payback time, baby! (Or rather, double-dip time, as most these "investments" are just pass-throughs of public money to private profiteers). And hey, finder's keepers and all that, right?

The Times story is the usual splattered mess of regurgitated Pentagon PR and imperial spin, with a few small bits of pertinent information here and there.

The story first displays its "savvy" cred by noting the possible downsides of the find. ("Hey, we're not just cheerleaders, you know!") It could make the Taliban fight even harder. It could exacerbate the corruption of the American-installed Afghan government. It could set off conflicts between Afghan tribes and warlord factions to control the mining. It could wreak environmental ruin. And it seems it could tempt grasping greedy foreigners to prey upon the war-ravaged Afghans and steal their wealth:



At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.


Oh yes, the great danger is that China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan's mineral wealth! They've already got one copper mine and they want more, the greedy bastards!

This passage gives us a vivid display of the quintessential NYT stew of PR, spin and tiny fragments of reality. First comes the head fake toward the Yellow Peril, then we get a bit of truth: the Washington believes the United States should dominate the development of Afghanistan's mineral wealth, "given its heavy investment in the region." China can't have it, because we've got it. We've spent a lot of money and we've killed a lot of people to get it (including wads of our own cannon fodder) -- and by God, we're going to keep it!

Of course, the Times accepts this as the natural state of affairs. The possibility that the mineral find might exacerbate the rampant American corruption in the Afghan war is not mentioned, or even hinted at. The idea that it will make the Pentagon fight harder -- and nastier -- to secure control over the stash is not even considered.

Instead, we get another bashing of the Afghan government for its corruption -- as if this is occurring in some kind of vacuum, as if the billions of dollars being siphoned off, socked away or spread around to cronies by the American-appointed, American-backed, American-supplied Afghan officials were not being doled out to them by .... the Americans, who are happily kicking back billions more to their own cronies, contractors and profiteers.

We also get -- yet again -- the myth that the American empire acts solely out of altruism. American officials, we are told, are gearing up to help the Afghans exploit the find with technical expertise, business plans and industry contacts. But strangely enough, this kindness is not being provided by, say, the State Department or some aid agency; it is being carried out by ... the Pentagon. It is the Pentagon that is "helping Afghan officials arrange to start seeking bids on mineral rights by next fall" and facilitating the development of the trillion-dollar cache.

In other words, the warlords of a foreign power will develop the mining operations in order to keep them out of the hands of, er, foreign powers and warlords.

Another nugget of truth buried deep in the story is the fact that the "discovery" of the huge trove of mineral deposits was actually made a few years ago. It is being trotted out now because the Obama Administration needs some good news about its ever-expanding quagmire in Central Asia -- and perhaps also to send a signal to its corporate backers and foreign allies (such as Britain, now making noises about possibly winding down its Afghan involvement) that the game is most definitely worth the candle.

And worth the lives of thousands and thousands of more Afghans -- and Pakistanis, Americans, Britons and others -- in a mad, murderous mineral scramble. The Pentagon businessmen say that Afghanistan could become "the Saudi Arabia of lithium" -- but it is far more likely to become "the Congo of Central Asia": a zone of decades-long, hydra-headed, multi-sided, society-gutting, atrocity-producing, money-grubbing war over "vast riches" of mineral deposits.

But hey: as long as the BlackBerries and laptops keep rolling in, who cares, right? Those things are just so darn cool.




 

Offline SubjectZero

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FINALLY THE REAL TRUTH FOR THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!!!
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2010, 01:30:59 PM »
Sorry for the repost...removed that huge article...was really excited and disgusted when I saw that...With the scarcity and depletion in the rest of the world of these resources (specifically gold), having all of this untapped in US control is a great way to take it over don't you think?

Offline Dig

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Re: FINALLY THE REAL TRUTH FOR THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!!!
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2010, 01:46:30 PM »
Sorry for the repost...removed that huge article...was really excited and disgusted when I saw that...With the scarcity and depletion in the rest of the world of these resources (specifically gold), having all of this untapped in US control is a great way to take it over don't you think?

it is all bullshit. every area has resources. africa has more than any continent i believe. they are justifying the continued genocide. the resources are not to be used, they are to be suppressed to continue the "scarcity" narrative.

god's green earth has so many resources available it can sustain over 100 billion humans. that is the truth that they are scared to come out.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Georgiacopguy

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Re: FINALLY THE REAL TRUTH FOR THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!!!
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2010, 03:04:25 PM »
Artificial scarcity is how they've maintained the status quo for centuries. You cannot tell  me (not that you would Sane) that DeBeers has not mined more Diamonds than has be been released. I personally believe that DeBeers stores a vast quantitiy of diamonds, or sacrifices vast quantities as 'industrial diamonds' in order to bolster the belief that diamonds are scarce, thereby reinforcing the high and exorhibitant prices people will pay for them.

Just follow my logic. Diamonds, are forever, we get that. They don't expire or deteriorate. So over the years, more and more diamonds have continued to remain on the surface, encrusted in jewelry, and yet, still more diamonds are sold every day, more diamonds are mined everyday, and yet, the prices have never gone down. I'd ventur to say there at present billions of diamonds circulating in the world right now. Yet people continue to think they are rare, but this is only becuase of the extensive marketing by DeBeers, the monopoly they hold, and socail engineering they conduct on a regualr basis.

it is all bullshit. every area has resources. africa has more than any continent i believe. they are justifying the continued genocide. the resources are not to be used, they are to be suppressed to continue the "scarcity" narrative.

god's green earth has so many resources available it can sustain over 100 billion humans. that is the truth that they are scared to come out.
The resistance starts here. Unfortunately, the entire thing is moving beyond the intellectual infowar. I vow I will not make an overt rush at violent authority, until authority makes it's violent rush at me and you. I will not falter, I will not die in this course. For that is how they win.

Offline Overcast

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Re: FINALLY THE REAL TRUTH FOR THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!!!
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2010, 03:20:56 PM »
Artificial scarcity is how they've maintained the status quo for centuries. You cannot tell  me (not that you would Sane) that DeBeers has not mined more Diamonds than has be been released. I personally believe that DeBeers stores a vast quantitiy of diamonds, or sacrifices vast quantities as 'industrial diamonds' in order to bolster the belief that diamonds are scarce, thereby reinforcing the high and exorhibitant prices people will pay for them.

Just follow my logic. Diamonds, are forever, we get that. They don't expire or deteriorate. So over the years, more and more diamonds have continued to remain on the surface, encrusted in jewelry, and yet, still more diamonds are sold every day, more diamonds are mined everyday, and yet, the prices have never gone down. I'd ventur to say there at present billions of diamonds circulating in the world right now. Yet people continue to think they are rare, but this is only becuase of the extensive marketing by DeBeers, the monopoly they hold, and socail engineering they conduct on a regualr basis.


Yes, it's the whole reason the entertainment industries are on the warpath against any type of electronic replication of their 'goods'. Digital Music and Video has suddenly yanked the 'scarcity' card out of their deck and they are in a panic.
And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

Offline NYBasher23

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The obvious plan for this "war" is to plunder the Afghanistanis of the possibility of regaining any kind of wealth. Not much different than what Great Britan, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States has done with African nations. Third world countries are the way they are because the "developed" countries use force to overtake the people and then steal whatever they deem is a wealth building natural resource. Then, those same governments want the citizens of the developed nations to pour money in the form of charity into the very countries the thieving govenments stole from. Just one more way the rich & powerful manage to stay rich & powerful.
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Offline Theorist

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Massive Mineral Gold deposits found in Afghanistan
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2010, 05:26:13 PM »

Offline bigron

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  • RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012

No, U.S. Didn’t Just ‘Discover’ $1T Afghan Motherlode (Updated)

By Katie Drummond  June 14, 2010  |  10:20 am  |  Categories: Af/Pak
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/06/no-the-military-didnt-just-discover-an-afghan-mineral-motherlode/





Despite what you may read this morning, the U.S. military did not just “discover” a trillion dollars’ worth of precious minerals in Afghanistan.

The New York Times today proclaimed that Afghanistan is apparently poised to become “the Saudi Arabia of lithium” — a metal used to produce gadgets like iPods and laptops. The discovery will also, according to Pentagon documents quoted by the Times, fundamentally transform the country’s opium-reliant economy.

But the military (and observers of the military) have known about Afghanistan’s mineral riches for years. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Navy concluded in a 2007 report that “Afghanistan has significant amounts of undiscovered nonfuel mineral resources,” including ”large quantities of accessible iron and copper [and] abundant deposits of colored stones and gemstones, including emerald, ruby [and] sapphire.”

Not to mention that the $1 trillion figure is — at best — a guesstimate. None of the earlier U.S military reports on Afghan’s mineral riches cite that amount. And it might be prudent to be wary of any data coming out of Afghanistan’s own Mines Ministry, which “has long been considered one of the country’s most corrupt government departments,” The Wall Street Journal reports.


And the timing of the “discovery” seems just a little too convenient. As Blake Hounshell at Foreign Policy notes, the Obama administration is struggling to combat the perception that the Afghan campaign has “made little discernible progress,” despite thousands of additional troops and billions of extra dollars.

Still, Pentagon officials are touting the find as a potential economic game-changer — and one that could end decades of conflict. But whether it’s oil or coltan, rich pockets of resources are always a mixed blessing. Just ask children in Congo, home to 80 percent of the world’s coltan supply, who were forced to mine for the precious metal that was later used to manufacture tech gadgets.

It’ll take years, and a ton of capital investment, before Afghanistan’s deposits can even be mined. And when they can, it’s anybody’s guess who’ll actually be profiting. Hounshell sums up the mess nicely:

Meanwhile, the drive for Kandahar looks to be stalled in the face of questionable local support for Karzai’s government, the Taliban is killing local authorities left and right, and the corruption situation has apparently gotten so bad that the U.S. intelligence community is now keeping tabs on which Afghan officials are stealing what.

UPDATE:

One retired senior U.S official is calling the government’s mineral announcement “pretty silly,” Politico is reporting. “When I was living in Kabul in the early 1970s the [U.S. government], the Russians, the World Bank, the U.N. and others were all highly focused on the wide range of Afghan mineral deposits. Cheap ways of moving the ore to ocean ports has always been the limiting factor.”

At least two American geologists have been advising the Pentagon on Afghanistan’s wealth of mineral resources for years. Bonita Chamberlin, a geologist who spent 25 years working in Afghanistan, “identified 91 minerals, metals and gems at 1,407 potential mining sites,” the Los Angeles Times reported in 2001. In 1995, she even co-wrote a book, “Gemstones in Afghanistan,” on the topic. And Chamberlin worked directly with the Pentagon, after they commissioned her to report on sandstone and limestone caves mere weeks after 9/11.

“I am quite surprised that the military is announcing this as some ‘new’ and ’surprising” discovery,’ she told Danger Room in an e-mail. “This is NOT new. Perhaps this also hints at the real reason why we would be so intent on this war.”

And Jack Shroder, a geologist at the University of Nebraska, told the Associated Press in 2001 that mineral deposits in Afghanistan were so rich, they could be vital in rebuilding the country. He’s collaborated with Pentagon officials since the 1970s, when he worked on mapping the country. In 2002, Shroder was approached by several American companies who hoped to start mining the area.

It’s not clear exactly what those experts shared with military honchos, but the Pentagon’s knowledge of Afghanistan’s minerals clearly preceded the 2004 discovery of “an intriguing series of old charts and data,” as the Times reports. In 2002, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the U.S. Department of Interior’s Mineral Yearbook, among other atlases, noted Afghanistan’s “significant deposits of gold, precious stones and other minerals waiting to be mined.”

But whatever the U.S military knows, and no matter how long they’ve known it, Russia likely has ‘em beat. At a 2002 conference on rebuilding Afghanistan, reps from several countries complained that Russia continued to withhold decades-old information about mineral deposits in the country.

Photo: U.S Geological Survey



Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/06/no-the-military-didnt-just-discover-an-afghan-mineral-motherlode/#ixzz0qrhB1Oqc




Offline bigron

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Afghanistan Mineral Riches: Beware the Hype

By James Joyner

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25712.htm

June 14, 2010 "Atlantic Council" --  News that "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" should be taken with several doses of salt.
James Risen of the NYT broke the story, which has the security blogosphere buzzing.  It gushes,

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.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

But, as Foreign Policy managing editor Blake Hounshell points out, the discovery in question dates to 2007, has been widely documented on US government websites for years, and the $1 trillion figure seems to have been conjured from thin air.  The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder points to evidence that the Soviets had documented this trove way back in 1985!

Katie Drummond of Wired's Danger Room adds, "it might be prudent to be wary of any data coming out of Afghanistan’s own Mines Minestry," citing a Wall Street Journal report noting it  “has long been considered one of the country’s most corrupt government departments."

That this story has gotten front page placement in the country's top newspaper has Mother Jones' Kevin Drum, OTB's Doug Mataconis, and others questioning the timing.   Ambinder, noting the on-the-record quotes from the highest levels of the U.S. military, goes so far as to characterize this as "a massive information operation."

Aside from the fact that the news isn't actually new and that there's good reason to believe that the potential benefits are being wildly exaggerated for political reasons, we should also be skeptical of the idea that Afghanistan is going to suddenly leap forward several centuries into modernity by virtue of a natural resource find.

First, as Matt Yglesias of the Center for American Progress notes, it's quite likely that the actual extraction will be performed by non-Afghan companies who bid on the mineral rights at a fraction of their actual value.

Second, given the corruption that is endemic in the Afghan governance culture, it's quite likely that most of the money will be skimmed off the top rather than benefiting the Afghan people.

Third, there's real reason to worry about a developing country relying on resource extraction to build their economy.  CNAS senior fellow' Andrew Exum points to Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion and sees dark days ahead for the NATO coalition effort:

Collier describes the characteristics that "trap" countries in cycles of civil conflict: low income, slow growth, and dependence on primary commodity exports. I don't need to tell you Afghanistan has the first and third characteristics in spades, and you may have noticed that Afghanistan has already been in a pretty miserable cycle of civil conflict since the PDPA coup in 1978. Does this resource find make civil war more or less likely? The statistics, I'm afraid, suggest the former.

The presence of civil war is not reason alone to give up on Afghanistan and bring the boys home. I have previously argued that yes, Afghanistan is in a civil war, and that we should take sides in that civil war to advance U.S. and allied interests. That's basically what we are doing today. But counterinsurgency strategies rest on the assumption that you can eventually weaken anti-government forces and reduce levels of violence to the point where a political process can take place in more peaceful circumstances. We now have one trillion fresh reasons why this assumption might not be valid for Afghanistan.

The Washington Independent's Spencer Ackerman, noting that "Afghanistan’s economy is based around opium and foreign aid," agrees:

n emerging and underdeveloped states, weak legal systems and official corruption create incentives for powerful people to exploit those resources, rather than allow mineral wealth to fuel national renewal. Think Congo or Sierra Leone. It’s easy to tick off the ways in which what political scientists call the “Resource Curse” applies to Afghanistan: a tenuous legal structure; warlordism; war; foreign interventionism; corruption throughout the political system; an uneasy and unstable relationship between provincial and national authorities; and an uneasy and unstable relationship in provinces and districts with instruments of local governance as well as national governance.

Let's hope that retired Green Beret and DoD senior executive Pat Lang is right that "the lives of ordinary Afghans will be profoundly changed perhaps for the better."  After decades of war and centuries of poverty, it would be wonderful.   But a lot needs to go right for the rosier side of the perhaps to come true.   And there's not much in Afghan history that would lead me to bet on it.

James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.


Offline NikkiC

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so how many American Military men are we willing to sacrifice for this one so global bastards can rob the country ??
Spread the word about Bilderberg !!!! Expose them, wake the people up worldwide.

Offline chrisfromchi

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Use this issue to wake people up or plant seeds.

it works

Offline larsonstdoc

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Re: Massive Mineral Gold deposits found in Afghanistan
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2010, 09:18:03 PM »

  Bob Chapman confirmed today (what I already knew) on Dr. Stan's Show that the US has known this for years.  They are trying to tell the American people that eventually Afghanistan will be able to pay for our war.  MORE BS FROM SOETORO AND HIS MINIONS.  Anything taken out of the mountains of Afghanistan will go to the NWO if they mine it out of there.
I'M A DEPLORABLE KNUCKLEHEAD THAT SUPPORTS PRESIDENT TRUMP.  MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND KEEP HIM SAFE.