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27 September 2010

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Harper

I can second the praise for Cartwright and Lute. I know that Jones shared their views, and has solicited outside expert advice. Col. Lang is right: stealing candy from the President is an old trick, and in this particular case, it was like stealing candy from a baby. Obama really does not like the part of the job description that involves being Commander-in-Chief. Somebody forgot to tell him that the campaign eventually ends, and if you win, you have to govern.

Jake

What part of this ain't we getting?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11441279

dan of steele

a friend passed this to me, I might have said it myself if I could write like this.

If one looks over the diplomatic record between the US and Afghanistan, it's clear the US was planning an Afghanistan invasion/coup, well before 9-11.

So if one sets aside Bin Laden and Terrorism as motives for invasion, what's left are some pretty clear geostrategic goals:

A) Destabilization of China,
B) Destabilization of Iran (and denying that country the opportunity to re-establish the Pax Irani of Greater Persia)
C) Colonialist economic enterprise, in the sense of driving a wedge between China and Iran/"Greater Persia" by both locking up Afghanistan's mineral wealth, while restricting (or outright denying) Chinese and Irani exploitation of Central Asian oil and minerals.

I find it very odd that so few commentators in the media mention how China is right next door to Afghanistan.

When Petraeus and the generals were getting a lot of media pushback against the AfPak surge a month or two ago, the very argument they made was that Afghanistan has lots and lots of minerals.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10980473

Just one of many interviews where Petraeus talked about this, after a "groundbreaking" report was released last summer.

Another issue which people are only beginning to talk about (but which i first saw mentioned on SST) is the virtual monopoly on rare earths that China enjoys:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rare-earths-are-vital-and-china-owns-them-all-2009-09-24
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/business/energy-environment/24mineral.html
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-09-29/pentagon-losing-control-of-bombs-to-china-s-monopoly.html

And then there's technology transfer and industrialization, which China is managing much more quickly than anyone expected:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2b843e4c-c745-11df-aeb1-00144feab49a.html (one can access this site via google)

As the FT piece points out, China basically dictated to high-speed rail mfg that technology transfer *must* take place, and now those corporations are finding themselves in direct competition with cheaper Chinese products much more quickly than any of those firms expected -- and the trend is set to continue well into the future.

Finally, for examples of how a US presence in that region has a destabilizing influence on China, one need look no further than the last Olympics, when both Tibet and Xinjiang (itself right next door to Afghanistan) erupted in violent riots.

So from the generals' and industrialists' perspective, there are undoubtedly some very good strategic reasons for remaining in Afghanistan indefinitely.

Patrick Lang

Dan of Steele

wonderful nonsense. Someone here will want to talk to you about this. pl

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