A previous post here at Spellchek delved into the real reason we continue to fight the seemingly never-ending war in Afghanistan. The reason is access to raw materials, in particular rare earth minerals, in order to mitigate the Chinese world market domination. Currently, China exports approximately 95% of the world’s rare earth minerals consumption. This is not to say that Chinese mines contain 95% of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals, they don’t. They contain approximately 37% with the U.S. reserves pegged at about 13%. These numbers are very dynamic as they are based upon proven reserves globally and there are many more in existence not yet factored in. This is where Afghanistan fits in.
The United States Geological Survey has just released a new report reflecting a substantial reserve of rare earth minerals. It is, in fact, located in the Helmland Province of Afghanistan which, not coincidentally, is the exact area of the worst fighting that has occurred in the country. Here is a quote from the news release.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates at least 1 million metric tonnes of rare earth element resources within the Khanneshin carbonatite in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. This estimate comes from a 2009-2011 USGS study funded by the Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO).
Hmmm, interesting. The TFBSO. A DOD department directed at business and stability operations. What, pray tell, could a DOD dept. have to do with business? Created in 2006, here is a quote from their website concerning the reason for their existence.
Since 2006, TFBSO’s mission has been to reduce violence, enhance stability, and restore economic normalcy in areas where unrest and insurgency have created a synchronous downward spiral of economic hardship and violence.
We do this by developing economic opportunities through a range of efforts, including the encouragement of private investment, industrial development, banking and financial system development, agricultural diversification and revitalization, and energy development, among other initiatives.
Now, as I recall, we went into Afghanistan not to nation build, but to seek retaliation for “the people that knocked these buildings down”. Of course, George Bush was referring to Al-Qaeda at the time and, in particular, Usama Bin Laden, now deceased and hanging out with the fish. Mission accomplished, wouldn’t you say?
This is not a conspiracy article. I’m not suggesting, as some do, that Bush was behind 9-1-1 and all that followed so as to provide a reason to occupy Iraq for oil and Afghanistan for natural resources. But I would suggest that your government constantly takes into account all geo-political events in formulating its policies both foreign and domestic. Our economy is of primary importance to our position of global strength. Allowing a country, any country, to dictate world supply of a high commodity product, or range of products, is without question a liability and a weakness.
The fact that a third world country such as Afghanistan is sitting on a wealth of natural resources does not go unnoticed. Opening up that supply to the global markets thus diminishing the stranglehold that China holds on the rare earth mineral market is a national security objective. In fact, the slogan of the TFBSO is “enabling security through economic opportunity”. You can read more here.
I contend that a lightbulb went off at some point that saw opportunity. That’s always been my belief concerning some very suspect policies the U.S. has employed over the decades. Why are we doing this? That’s a fair question particularly when the stated objective has been achieved in eliminating Bin Laden. Today’s objective is no longer retaliation for 9-1-1, rather it is simply taking advantage of the situation we’re in and promoting national security through economic means. Research the TSBSO website yourself and tell me any other conclusion makes more sense. We’re in Afghanistan for the long run, count on it.