(CNN) — U.S. military officials and geologists have determined that the mineral deposits in Afghanistan are worth nearly $1 trillion, the Pentagon said Monday.
Vast supplies of minerals such as iron, copper and gold, all with worldwide technological applications, are scattered over the country, according to the Defense Department.
But officials caution that they won’t be easy to extricate and that it will take years to turn this newfound mineral wealth into actual revenue.
“It’s not a quick win,” the U.S. Geological Survey’s Jack Medlin said at a Pentagon briefing Monday.
Pentagon and State Department officials acknowledged that extraction efforts are challenged by remote locations, a weak infrastructure, a dearth of heavy vehicles and equipment, and a strong insurgent presence.
First they came for the terrorists, then they came to rip up the earth and claim someone else’s wealth. The spectre of neo-colonialism raises its ugly head. Empires trade Iraqi’s for oil and Afghani’s for minerals. Anyone who suspected that the American government was going to cease and desist from its swaray across the world,has been misguided. It may come in the form of ‘help’ or ‘assistance’ but Americans are going to be in Afghanistan for decades.