U.S. eyes spoils of war

15:23, June 17, 2010      

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A recent Pentagon announcement that there are massive reserves of minerals in Afghanistan may function as a double-edged sword for the Central Asian country, and it will likely justify continuous US engagement in Afghanistan's rebuilding process, observers said Wednesday.

The findings, based on a study by US geologists, were released Monday. But the survey was questioned by geologists and mining experts who argued that it was based on old data.

Pentagon officials said Afghanistan had reserves of valuable minerals, including lithium, copper, iron ore, niobium, cobalt and gold, among others, on a larger scale than previously believed, and the deposits may be worth more than $1 trillion.

Wu Dahui, with the Institute of Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the well-timed report will help justify the US' presence in the country.

"Washington has insisted that the stability of Afghanistan relies on its economic rebuilding. The announcement was timed to prove that the US can gain strategically from its involvement in rebuilding the war-torn country. The resources in Afghanistan would feed the US' demand to boost its economy," Wu said.

Afghanistan said Tuesday that it would seek bids from global miners to extract the mineral deposits.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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