Pentagon Says at Least a Trillion in Mineral Deposits in Afghanistan



From the NY Times:

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.


We have already know about the Afghanistan lapis lazuli, better known as just lapis.  It has become increasingly more costly since the Afghanistan war, mainly because it is harder to get the mineral.   Afghan miners go far up into the mountains where the vast lapis deposits are and bring out the rough on mules and human packs.  The best lapis in the world comes out of Afghanistan.  I got my stash from a friend’s husband who has a good eye for jewelry. 

Now what about all this lithium, iron, copper, cobalt, gold, etc?  Supposedly trillions of dollars worth.  How would a primitive country like Afghanistan ever develop to the point where some of these riches could be mined and distributed world wide?  What would keep the Taliban and Al Quada from taking control of the wealth? 

It sounds to me like if anything is done with these riches, the Americans out to put on their ugly American hat and simply be the big, bad watch dog.  Besides, that war has cost us a small fortune.  Pay backs are expensive.  Royalties are expensive.

Hand of Clod?

Robert Green, the Hand of Clod
Robert Green, the Hand of Clod


I sure wouldn’t want to be this guy. The Brit goalie, Robert Green,  will never be able to appear in public again, it seems. He goes into the Goalie Hall of Shame forever. According to New Zealand Herald:

El Diego gave us the Hand of God, Thierry Henry the Hand of Frog, now Robert Green is destined, according to the disparaging headline that featured in two red-top Sunday papers, to be remembered as the Hand of Clod.

The unfortunate Green and his wrists of wet spaghetti let past a shot from American Clint Dempsey that barely had enough steam to make it across the line.

Are Americans this cruel to our sports icons? Our sports icon seem to catch more hell for their indiscretions than they do their playing time mistakes.  I am not even sure why New Zealand is beating up on an England player.  Are we immune to this kind of scorn because we don’t have any national sports teams who routinely play.  All of our American teams are created for special occasions and are not a standing team for seasonal play, for major sports.

Our very own Starry Flights is in South Africa and has take in a few soccer games. I hope he will comment from time to time.

Americans, overall, seem rather underwhelmed by the World Cup. Mr. Howler pronounced on Saturday that the England vs USA World Cup soccer game was like watching paint dry. I then heard the buzz of curtains being sucked into his nostrils for a while, only for him to arise from the recliner to tell me it was the most boring sporting event he had ever watched. What is everyone take on the World Cup games?

Anchors Away Baby

From Huffington Post:

“Anchor babies” isn’t a very endearing term, but in Arizona those are the words being used to tag children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants. While not new, the term is increasingly part of the local vernacular because the primary authors of the nation’s toughest and most controversial immigration law are targeting these tots — the legal weights that anchor many undocumented aliens in the U.S. — for their next move.

Buoyed by recent public opinion polls suggesting they’re on the right track with illegal immigration, Arizona Republicans will likely introduce legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona — and thus American citizens according to the U.S. Constitution — to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. The law largely is the brainchild of state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican whose suburban district, Mesa, is considered the conservative bastion of the Phoenix political scene. He is a leading architect of the Arizona law that sparked outrage throughout the country: Senate Bill 1070, which allows law enforcement officers to ask about someone’s immigration status during a traffic stop, detainment or arrest if reasonable suspicion exists — things like poor English skills, acting nervous or avoiding eye contact during a traffic stop


Shoot! Doesn’t everyone act nervous and avoid eye contract during a traffic stop? I know I sure do. If those behaviors are considered probable cause, then we are all in trouble.

“Anchor babies” is a highly offensive term. These kids have no control over their circumstances in life. And we certainly don’t know why their parents had them. To imply that any child comes in to this world solely to anchor one’s parents to the United States is simply wrong. Hopefully the term ‘anchor baby’ will soon become as politically RUDE as the term ‘pickaninny’ which was used fairly freely when I was a child.

Of course, this piece comes from Time Magazine, via Huffington Post: Arizona’s Next Immigration Target: Children of Illegals. 

Illegals? 🙄 Unacceptable. Grammatically incorrect. Time Magazine needs to step it up a bit in the politically correct department. Or if they don’t want to be politically correct, how about using adjectives as adjectives and not as nouns.

One might contrast Arizona and New Mexico. Notice the silence out of Governor Bill Richardson’s state?
There are no easy answers but while we search we need to remember to be polite. We need to remember that those ‘anchor babies’ are just little children. In many ways, they are the most vulnerable members of this debate. They fear for themselves and they fear for their siblings and they fear for their parents. For some reason, too many Americans feel that these children simply don’t have feelings. And that is just dead wrong!

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