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12 December 2010


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Charles I

I watched Restrepo last night.

It'd take 10 times the current blood and treasure, applied with 100 times the wisdom 100 years.

On the other hand the BEEb reports ane Afghan pipeline deal!

Turkmen natural gas pipeline Tapi to cross Afghanistan

A deal has been struck on building a 1,700km (1,050m) pipeline to carry Turkmen natural gas across Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.



I remain astounded that these otherwise smart, well-educated experts in foreign policy & military affairs have NO capacity to tell shit from shinola.

Evidently, as long as it isn't their money, there's plenty of it.


Charles, I watched Restrepo for the first time as well. As for the pipeline, easier to go through Iran, no?


Charles --
That pipeline won't be built for at least a decade, probably longer.

Stanley Henning

As I noted a while ago, the Philippines were our only real COIN "success" and that was because we ran the government. Currently, we are even having a hard time running our own government let alone the one in Afghanistan.


Re. The pipeline mentioned by Charles I, it will never be build because there is no one who will finance it.

Jerome, a french energy banker I know, explains: Pipeline economics - why the Afghan pipeline will NOT be built


Stanley Henning, all your posts close with a pointy bracketed b which turns on the bold for the rest of the page.



Sadly with only 15 comments no one read Jerome's post. BTW The best time to post on Kos is Friday morning (by 10am), otherwise you miss the lunch crowd and buried by everyonelse. It deserves a reposting by the author.

Charles I

Trent, do you know how much blood, treasure and diplomacy is invested in keeping these pipelines OUT of Russia and Iran?

Dan, can we look forward to ten years of serious fighting, er, nation building, in the interim, and indefinite security after? Sounds like a plan, and the thrust of the general mumbling over the actual contours of the 2012 "withdrawal".

b, they may never be financed, but before 9/11, the U.S. elements were negotiating with the Taliban over pipelines, nary a human rights issue on the table. Things have changed, but pipeline schemes through the most insecure territory remain.

There must be some good reasons insecure unfinanceable routes are continuously promoted, let alone built, and your reference posited some having naught to do with energy economics.

My bet is still ultimately on money. Rules everything else. Somebody sees a chance to make some, and beat the Iranians and Russians about the head in their own backyards.

And surely some political hay can be made out of the national prospects an afghan pipeline might offer. My government is always touting its $50M+ investment in a hydroelectric dam refurbishment as the advent of light and prosperity security promises.

That less than 50 jobs were created, that the dam admin is corrupt and chaotic, and that maintenance prospects absent foreign support are dim in no way obviates the tremendous successes the dam represents.

Represents in lieu of actual sustainable successes, that is.

Surely even the announcement is Good News.

Sarah Godil

great article

Charles I

b, From the Toronto Star's editorial pages today, another energy economist weighs in on the TAPI pipeline:

"Canada’s ‘enduring’ Afghan role
By John Foster
Thu Dec 23 2010

Will our troops be used to train soldiers to protect a gas pipeline through Afghanistan?

On Dec. 11, President Hamid Karzai signed formal agreements for a natural gas pipeline to be built through Afghanistan. Leaders of Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India signed, too. Three weeks earlier, at the NATO summit in Lisbon, Afghanistan became an “enduring partner” of NATO. Neither event captured much attention here, yet both have consequences for Canada’s role in Afghanistan.

The proposed pipeline is named TAPI after the initials of the four participating countries (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India). It’s the same pipeline the U.S. company Unocal wanted to build in the 1990s. The TAPI countries have been meeting regularly since 2002 and they’ve made an apparent breakthrough with this agreement.

The route for the pipeline extends 1,700 kilometres from a gas field in Turkmenistan along the highway through Helmand and Kandahar provinces in Afghanistan, to Pakistan and India. Turkmenistan has immense reserves of natural gas. Pakistan and India have acute energy shortages. With the route passing through areas of ongoing insurgency, who will provide security? In the past, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and NATO officials have said they would consider a request to protect pipelines, if asked. As an “enduring partner” of NATO, Afghanistan could request assistance for decades. . .

John Foster is a Canadian energy economist who has worked for the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, BP and Petro-Canada. He is the author of “Afghanistan, the TAPI Pipeline, and Energy Geopolitics” in the Journal of Energy Security."

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