Talk of wealth from minerals by US geologists and Pentagon personnel add to the darkening view that those involved in war, corruption and disregard for the people of Afghanistan (and sacrificed soldiers + more to be sacrificed) will prosper…
+ Opium = supplies 90% of crop source for heroin (president Karzai's brother links to heroin trade)
+ Hashish = April 2010 report: Afghanistan Hashish, (not only opium) Declared World’s Largest Producer
+ Minerals = US geologists, Pentagon, Indian firms claim 1-3 trillion dollar value of mineral wealth in Afghanistan
and “Afghanistan's resources could make it the richest mining region on earth” and more importantly, this being ‘known' in 2007. (direct: USGS link) and that the Soviets were aware of mineral wealth during their Afghanistan occupation.
+ Gas Pipeline attempts = 1998 Congressional record related to Unocal/U.S. interests in Central Asia & November 2001 Asia Times article about the book “Bin Laden, la verite interdite (Bin Laden, the forbidden truth)” mentioning the US government's main objective in Afghanistan was to consolidate the position of the Taliban regime to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia.
BBC in 2002 mentions Unocal (Unocal.com is now Chevron.com) and others abandoning pipeline plans due to U.S. missile attacks in 1999. Reports on Enron attempts to make a deal with the Taliban (this 2002 CounterPunch article too). Encyclopedia of Earth also has a short mention of this topic
+ Corruption in Afghanistan = Transparency International ranks Afghanistan 179th of 180 countries. And Afghan corruption has doubled since 2007 (IntegrityWatch survey).
Pre-existing plan to attack Taliban before 9/11 was even posted in the BBC and a variation of this was posted at MSNBC in 2002.
“To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11”
-Tony Blair (London Times, 7/17/02)
originally at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-358038,00.html but no longer at that URL
+ Karzai Aide in Corruption Inquiry Is Tied to C.I.A. (Aug 26, 2010)
+ Corruption Suspected in Airlift of Billions in Cash From Kabul (WSJ: June 25, 2010)
+ Event Report: 20 Nov 09 NYC, Counterinsurgency–America’s Strategic Burden
+ (Book) Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid – Mar. 1, 2001
+ Afghan War Diaries Explorer
+ UN/World Bank Afghanistan Drug Industry Report (2006)
+ SourceWatch: Opium economy in Afghanistan
+ GlobalSecurity.org: Afghanistan Opium cultivation
+ Wkipedia: Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline
+ Free Book: “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy“