Afghanistan Minerals Rush May Be Already Underway
Peace in Afghanistan? Maybe—but a Minerals Rush Is Already Underway
And that rush is a direct result of Trump’s pressure on the Afghan government to open up the country to foreign corporations.
While the war continues to rage in nearly every corner of Afghanistan, one issue barely investigated is the rush to mine valuable Afghan resources. I’ve been reporting on this subject since 2012, visiting Afghanistan twice for research, and the situation has never been so dire; massive contracts are being signed with little transparency or concern about the negative consequences for civilians.
With $1–3 trillion of resources estimated to be under the ground, from rare-earth minerals to lithium and copper, the rush is on. It’s crucially relevant to current developments that Khalilzad, a neoconservative who served in senior roles in the George W. Bush administration, also worked with his son during the Obama years to exploit and profit from Afghan oil (though most of their plans failed). Khalilzad has done consulting work for oil companies, including Unocal in the 1990s, that were keen to develop a pipeline through Afghanistan during the period of Taliban rule.