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June 15th, 2010
10:37 AM ET

Afghan minerals could turn war's tide

Patrick Doherty
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/15/doherty.afghan.minerals/t1larg.afghanistan.flyover.landscape.gi.jpg caption="An aerial view of part of Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan." width=300 height=169]

The news that Afghanistan's mineral wealth could exceed $1 trillion is an important opportunity for both Kabul and Washington to change the narrative from counterinsurgency to locally controlled sustainable development.

By doing so, the government of Hamid Karzai and the Obama administration can leverage a range of converging interests in South and Central Asia to put Afghanistan and the region finally on the only viable path to security - rising economic prosperity in the larger region.

Natural resources are both a blessing and a curse. For some countries strong government and civil society can manage them so the larger society benefits and profits are invested in the human resources of the country. The BP oil spill notwithstanding, this has been the case for the United States, Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If this is worth trillions time will tell if Karzai is the leader he should be or will he deny the Afghan people of sharing in this new found wealth.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm |