Saturday, July 29, 2017

Will Afghanistan's Minerals Shape Trump's Policy Toward the Region?

Ahmad Shah Katawazai,

Image from article, with caption: A ruby mined from Afghanistan's Jegdalek Ruby Mine

Afghanistan’s mineral wealth could help kickstart the economy, but beware of the resource curse.

In addition to Afghanistan’s geopolitical and geostrategic importance, its lucrative mineral resources — estimated to be worth between $1 and $3 trillion — could be one of the major justifications for the United States to remain in the fragile state.
However, mining in a country like Afghanistan, which has spent decades riled by conflict, will not be easy without a strong commitment from the Afghan government coupled with strict policy measures by the United States to put pressure on Pakistan to help in curbing the ongoing insurgency. In order to exploit minerals successfully and create a conducive environment for American companies’ investment, in addition to a robust presence and public diplomacy, winning the hearts and minds of the people will be necessary.

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