What lies beneath

Possibly trillions of dollars worth of mineral deposits lie untouched beneath the surface in Afghanistan. A recent New York Times report generated a flurry of discussion about whether this subterranean wealth would help Afghanistan and its people or prove to be a “resource curse” that instead brings more violence.

One thing is certain, if the minerals are to be mined, there will have to be substantial infrastructure development (asphalted roads) and security for the mining companies. I can just see Halliburton written all over this, and taxpayer dollars supporting the US military to protect business interests.

A less gloomy and much more informed view than mine comes from long-term expert on Afghanistan, Thomas Barfield, professor of cultural anthropology at Boston University.

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