So the Pentagon has figured out that Afghanistan sits on extreme untapped mineral wealth, including lithium used to make laptops and Blackberrys. Not necessarily good news. As the Times points out:
“Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.
The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.
Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts.”
Afterall, those diamonds didn’t work out so well for Liberia, Sierra Leone, et al.