Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Trump has a reason to stay in Shitholeistan
All that good money that various mining companies will pay him if he can make the damn country safe enough to let them exploit some serious mineral deposits there. Maybe not the $1 Trillion number kicked around some years ago but large enough to entice a pea brain like Cheeto Mussolini.
The lure of Afghanistan as a war-torn Klondike is well established: In 2006, the George W. Bush administration conducted aerial surveys of the country to map its mineral resources. Under President Barack Obama, the Pentagon set up a task force to try to build a mining industry in Afghanistan — a challenge that was stymied by rampant corruption, as well as security problems and the lack of roads, bridges or railroads.China is also interested and has a huge advantage over the US, it is not trying to kill everyone who doesn't want them but is willing to work with whomever it needs. So what this means is that Trump has to turn Shitholeistan from a backwater Imperial outpost to a full scale Imperial colony exploitable by the finest American businessmen available. Can he do it ??
None of these hurdles has been removed in the last eight years, according to former officials, and some have worsened. They warn that the Trump administration is fooling itself if it believes that extracting minerals is a panacea for Afghanistan’s myriad ills.
“It would be dangerous to use the potential for resource exploitation as a selling point for military engagement,” said Laurel Miller, a senior analyst at RAND who served until last month as the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The barriers to entry are really quite considerable, and that kind of argument could fuel suspicion about America’s real intentions in Afghanistan.”
But for Mr. Trump, as a businessman, it is arguably the only appealing thing about Afghanistan. Officials said he viewed mining as a “win-win” that could boost that country’s economy, generate jobs for Americans and give the United States a valuable new beachhead in the market for rare-earth minerals, which has been all but monopolized by China.
China already has a $3 billion contract to develop a copper mine about 25 miles southeast of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Officials said Mr. Trump was determined not to spend American lives and treasure in Afghanistan only to watch China lock up its rare-earth deposits, which are used to make products from wind turbines to computer chips.
Mr. Silver, the chemical executive, may head an effort to maximize the rights for American companies to extract these minerals, according to a senior official.
Mr. Trump’s interest also reflects how his military advisers have struggled to present him with other persuasive reasons to send troops to the country, where the United States has been at war since 2001.
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