US has discovered over $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan
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. 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.
In other words, we are never leaving this place.
UPDATE: Everyone Knew About Those Afghan Minerals Already +
Despite the palpable excitement in the Times’ front-page “Afghanistan has so many minerals!” story today, the existence of such resources has been known for years, even decades. So why present it as a new, game-changing discovery? To remind “the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis, and the Americans” about the stubbornly war-torn and unstable nation’s “potential bright future,” suggests the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder.