Monday, June 14, 2010

The Great Game, Version 2.0?

Today's New York Times carried an interesting article.
The news report suggested that the United States had discovered untapped, hitherto untapped mineral reserves in war torn, faction ridden and the US protectorate of Afghanistan.
It is speculated that these deposits of lithium, iron, copper, cobalt, gold, etc. are immensely huge and could sustain the industrial engine for years to come.
The report also quoted an internal Pentagon document which called Afghanistan the potential "Saudi Arabia of Lithium".
The report goes on to say that these deposits could be worth over USD 1 trillion.
Now this is interesting.
Would this discovery affect a potential US plan for the pullout of its forces following the recent surge? Would the powerful US military-industrial complex allow for a pullout, and loss of control on these resources? Would the five pillars of the military-industrial complex allow for that?

Outside the US, would this discovery lead to the second edition of the Great Game, the classical battle for the supremacy over Central Asia?
I wonder how would China respond to a potential US pillage in its neighbourhood?
And what would be security implications of resource triggered US-Sino conflict in Central Asia?

Surely, security analysts will have to keep a close watch on what happens. India has to calibrate its security policy keep in mind the possible scenarios that this discovery could trigger?

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