I mean what is really happening under the radar, underground, if you will.
It is a mystery to most of us, so we will speculate based upon the knowledge we have.
The one thing we all do know about the Afghanistan story is that what we are told by McTell News does not pass the smell test, the truth test, and so with President Obama stating, yesterday, that we will stay in Afghanistan until 2024, [surprise, surprise they "lost" the page wink, wink, so here is the Wayback Machine copy] makes it all the more peculiar and mysterious.
Let's consider a few peculiar events that have taken place during Dredd Blog's head scratching over this mystery, beginning with a post from June of 2010:
For those who do not know what Oilah Akbar is, read this post.(Oilah Akbar In Afghanistan, see also Route To Riches). Notice the part about the government changing its website to hide that information, and Dredd Blog retrieving the information from the Wayback Machine.
When I read the headline "Afghanistan to Start Oil-Licensing" confirmed by Reuters, at first I thought "Afghanistan does not have any oil does it ... Iraq has the oil - right?"
Then I studied up on it a bit and found this old data:
Since the first oil field was discovered in Afghanistan in 1959 ...(USGS [for some inexplicable reason, wink, wink, the gov changed the original page, so here is the page on The Wayback Machine - gotcha gov]).
The USGS has previously conducted broad regional oil and gas resource assessments of northwestern Afghanistan as part of the Amu Darya basin, most of which is located in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. These assessments were published by Kingston (1986 and 1990), Masters and others (1995), and Ulmishek (2000).
I found another discussion that took place in the winter of 2001-2002 that had made some rather strong statements about oil in the area:
As the war in Afghanistan unfolds, there is frantic diplomatic activity to ensure that any post-Taliban government will be both democratic and pro-West. Hidden in this explosive geo-political equation is the sensitive issue of securing control and export of the region's vast oil and gas reserves. The Soviets estimated Afghanistan's proven and probable natural gas reserves at 5 trillion cubic feet - enough for the United Kingdom's requirement for two years - but this remains largely untapped because of the country's civil war and poor pipeline infrastructure.(Rethinking Schools, Winter 2001-2002, bold added [if they "lose" this link again wink, wink, here is the Wayback Machine copy]). That shocked me a bit because even though I had heard Afghanistan was important in terms of gas and oil pipelines, it is considered to be a "conspiracy theory".
More importantly, according to the U.S. government, "Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from central Asia to the Arabian Sea."
To the north of Afghanistan lies the Caspian and central Asian region, one of the world's last great frontiers for the oil industry due to its tremendous untapped reserves. The U.S. government believes that total oil reserves could be 270 billion barrels. Total gas reserves could be 576 trillion cubic feet.
That tells us that the government does not want us to know about oil and other resources, which tells us that MOMCOM is nefariously scheming.
Another Dredd Blog post considered the drug business that had died out prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, but was restarted quickly following the invasion:
The poppy cultivation had been almost completely removed from Afghan culture by the time that the invasion took place.(First Day of Spring 2009). Ninety Five percent of the source of heroin was quickly restored, and drug addiction increased ... hmmmm ... the oil drug and the heroin drug all in one location that "needed democracy" really bad. [now we have an opoid epidemic ... gosh who knew?]
It did not take long for Afghan poppy cultivation to spring up again. By 2002 the spring of poppy cultivation was returning strong.
By 2006 Afghanistan was leading the world in poppy cultivation once again:
U.N. figures to be released in September are expected to show that Afghanistan's poppy production has risen up to 15 percent since 2006 and that the country now accounts for 95 percent of the world's crop, 3 percentage points more than last year, officials familiar with preliminary statistics told The Associated Press.(Washington Post). An increase in heroin addiction and drug wars was the inevitable result.
Well, there you have it, so speculate away bloggers (hint: it is about broccoli).
The next post in this series is here.