The Americans may have something else to go to war about if reports in the New York Times are anything to go by.
Afghanistan is allegedly housing a huge $1 trillion deposit of untapped minerals including massive amounts of lithium, which is used in batteries for laptops and mobile phones. It’s also being used as a way to power low-carbon cars.
They claim they have found deposits as large as those of Bolivia, which currently has the world’s largest known lithium stores. The New York Times said: “An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.”
The newspaper reports that the US Geological Survey began aerial surveys of Afghanistan in 2006, using data collected by Soviet mining experts during the occupation in the 1980s.
“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, told The New York Times. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”
The paper commented: “Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.”