Huge new mineral deposits have been discovered in Afghanistan! A trillion dollars worth! Enough to transform the entire country from a complete hell-hole into an ordinary every day crap-hole like New Jersey. Woohoo!
Vast supplies of minerals such as iron, copper and gold, all with worldwide technological applications, are scattered over the country, according to the Defense Department.
But officials caution that they won't be easy to extricate and that it will take years to turn this new found mineral wealth into actual revenue.
Uh, yeah...the mineral potential of Afghanistan has been known about for decades. The Soviets identified it in the 70s. The Chinese would love to get their hands on it, too. Problem is there ain't no fucking infrastructure to get it out. Even if you could mine it you gotta get it to the sea for transport by ship. Good luck with that.
So lets start from the beginning...first you gotta build massive mining operations but that don't do ya no good without freeways and railways and bridges and airports. Then you'll need equally massive support facilities like train depots, chemical plants, power stations, truck stops, housing facilities, blah, blah, fucking blah-de-blah.
Okay, so lets say you DO somehow manage to pull all that off. The nearest sea port is in Pakistan. Not a problem! The Pakistani government has never wanted anything but a successful neighbor next door and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to negotiate the required international treaties at a fair and equitable price. Hell, it ain't like they ever supported the Taliban, now is it?
The terrain shouldn't be much of a problem when it comes to building roads and railways. The 10th Mountain might be having trouble but what do they know?
The educated workforce you'll need is almost a given...see that farmer over there? He speaks Pashtun AND goat.
The US Guv'mint just put time back on the clock in Afghanistan. And I, for one, have complete trust in the notion of bringing in legions of unicorns and magic faeries to fly the ore to safety and bring the most ungovernable place on the planet into the present.
Before you know it all our men and women can come home and the Afghan people will have more lithium-ion batteries than they can eat.
That'll be a good day, when our boys come home.