A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Afghanistan Oil

The hope, or perhaps willow-the-wisp, in Afghanistan has long been the country's reputed mineral wealth. The problem, as with southern Sudan and a few other places, is that it can be hard to extract mineral wealth when there's a war going on. Now there's a report of significant oil under Afghanistan. Whether it can be exploited, of course, is another matter. But it could be good news for the country, given the right circumstances.

1 comment:

Sami said...

This comes on the heels of June reports of extensive deposits of minerals and resources other than oil estimated at a value of $1 trillion - iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and lithium, which is perhaps most significant given its importance for laptop and cell phone batteries.


As you rightly suggest with your allusion to Sudan, "It can be hard to extract mineral wealth when there's a war going on." In many of these cases, too, the extraction of mineral wealth is not a separate entity, respective of conflict, but rather an engine of conflict, an enricher of killers. It might be "good news" but the "right circumstances" have proved very elusive time after time, whether in Liberia or the DRC.