What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Afghanistan's mineral water reserves

As to the latest news of the actually old story of Afghanistan's vast mineral reserves and its recently being dubbed the Saudi Arabia of lithium, please consult the Daily Show with Jon Stewart - once again:
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The U.S. administration, reportedly, is concerned whether this sort of mineral wealth will help holy good governance in Afghanistan.
For this reason I was impressed reading this statement put out by the Afghan Embassy in Washington:
"Demands for drinking water on the Kabul Basin in Afghanistan may increase six times from its current supply according to a new study carried out by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in collaboration with the Afghan Government.
The findings significantly estimate that at least 60 percent of shallow groundwater-supply wells would be affected over the next 50 years and may become dry or inoperative as a result of climate change as documented in the new study recently unveiled at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.
Groundwater in the basin’s less widely used deep aquifer may supply future needs; however, the sustainability of this resource for large withdrawals, such as agricultural uses is uncertain. “[USGS has] been an invaluable asset for bringing advanced technology into Afghanistan and transferring their professional skills to build the capacity of our institution,” Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States Said Jawad said recently during a presentation of the report at the embassy.
In welcoming the USGS team led by scientist Thomas Mack and lead author on the report, Jawad said, “The training of Afghan experts and scientists will sustain the growth and maintenance of an infrastructure that will support the systematic development, extraction and monitoring of mineral deposits.”
“We are also excited about the news of an estimated mineral wealth of $1 trillion dollars in Afghanistan including iron, copper, cobalt, gold and coal,” the ambassador said. “These unified reports prove to be invaluable for the maximum extraction of the minerals already known and the discovery of new deposits.” (...)"
In my view, that the issue of Afghanistan's lottery "win" comes up only after so many paragraphs, about other things before it, may be interpreted naively as a sign that it is not that important to Karzai's government; constructively as a sign that they want to remind everyone of the basic and oft-forgotten fact that Afghanistan, ya know, has some more basic problems right now than mining its bowels out; and minimalistically as a sign that the people behind the statement are smart and know how to shape a message right. Opinions?

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