The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Afghanistan's $1 Trillion "Resource Curse"



Klare is author of Resource Wars and Rising Powers,
Shrinking Planet
. In response to recent reports of $1 trillion in
mineral resources found in Afghanistan, he said today: "The discovery
and development of these mineral reserves in Afghanistan -- described as
a potential boon to that country by General [David] Petraeus -- would
be an unmitigated disaster under existing conditions. Because
Afghanistan lacks a functioning democracy and an indigenous mining
capacity, it would be reliant on foreign firms for technical services,
which in turn would be beholden to local officials -- read warlords --
for the necessary authorizations and protection. The result would be a
classic case of the 'resource curse' -- the development of resources not
for the good of the masses but for privileged elites, leading to
ingrained corruption, authoritarianism, and violence."

Klare is Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies
at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.

See: "The
Resource Curse: Why Lithium May Spell Misery for Afghanistan

Klare also recently wrote the piece "The
Relentless Pursuit of Extreme Energy: A New Oil Rush Endangers the Gulf
of Mexico and the Planet

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