Defeated by Greed

Now that the US has discovered enormous potential mineral wealth under Afghanistan, they will never leave.

9 thoughts on “Defeated by Greed

  1. Actually Ted it says in the NY Times article that gold is also involved. As you mention, the mother load of wealth there is mostly in lithium, iron, and aluminum. BUT there were also significant, though considerably smaller, untapped gold and rare earth metal deposits.

    The rare earths are of significant importance. It hasn’t happened yet, but with the crunch on rare earth metals (mostly lanthanides on the periodic table for those curious) it may soon put the lust for gold and oil to shame. I would argue that we are now almost as dependent on the rare earth metals as we are on oil. The difference, obviously, is that on a per usage basis we go through oil much faster then the rare earths. One gram of various lanthanides can last a whole handful of Americans much longer then multiple barrels of oil could support a single average middle class American.

    None-the-less, the planet is running out of known rare earth deposits, and every thing from cell phones, hybrid, electric, and solar powered cars as well as your personal computer and the internet it connects to are dependent upon the rare earths. Thus I would not be surprised if in a couple of decades or so the wars started over rare earth deposits will come to trump those of oil in scale, severity, and desperation. After all, the value of oil drops significant if ones country no longer has working modern technology to power with it.

    In conclusion, while no one is making a big deal of the only medium sized, but fully untapped, rare earth deposits just discovered in Afganistan, I would argue that in the not to distant future this will have more of an impact on Afganistan foriegn policy the world over then if it they had discovered as much untapped light sweet crude as currently still exists in Iraq. That may just be my interpretation but I would be willing to wager at least a modest sized bet on it.

    So you and Matt Bors should grab some lanthanides while over there. I’ll bet you any amount you manage to grab will appreciate in value more then any savings account you have over the next four decades or so.

  2. Route,
    Not that I want to defend Obama, or the people who naively voted for him, but do you think McCain would be a whole lot different? Really?

  3. Come on Ted! You know we can’t trust such precious resources to a bunch of backwards thinking, uneducated, third-world yahoos. No sir. We must liberate the precious resources that God hast bequethed to the most blessed nation on earth! Think of it as Manifest Destiny, just in the opposite direction.

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