Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Afghanistan May Not Have Oil Fields to Plunder. Mineral Wealth Might Have to Do.
Donald Trump used to raise a lot of eyebrows when he said America should have simply taken Iraq's oil in payment for toppling Saddam Hussein. He never got the chance.
Afghanistan may not be as lucky as Iraq. Trump very much intends to take a big bite out of Afghanistan's mineral wealth - not to buy it, to take it.
Trump, who last week announced that he would be sending more troops to Afghanistan, believes the country’s estimated $1 trillion in mineral resources can be used to repay the United States for what it has spent there. “As the prime minister of Afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us,” Trump said in an Aug. 21 speech at Fort Myer in Virginia.
In fact, Afghanistan doesn’t have a prime minister, but that wasn’t even the most concerning issue for veteran Afghanistan watchers.
One problem for American mining interests is just what you do with the ore when you dig it out of the ground. Where does it go? The two likeliest export routes are via Pakistan and Iran, neither of which is especially fond of Trump's America. You could go to Central Asia via the other Stans only to wind up at the Caspian Sea and that's land locked. Maybe Vlad Putin would intercede on Trump's behalf. Maybe.