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USA answers Europe Attempt to Secure Rare Earth Elements

On July 5, 2012, Europe published new rare earth elements’ policy; two days later, the USA answered…

 

 

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Two days ago, on July 5, 2012, I published Hidden Rare Earth Elements War Heats Up, an article analyzing the new policy on rare earth elements declared by the European Union. “It is our aim to make sure that Europe’s industry will be able to continue to play a leading role in new technologies and innovation, and we have to ensure that we have the necessary elements to do so,” the EU representative said to the press on the occasion. In other words, the EU warned China—nowadays the world’s main supplier of these elements—that it expects to have access to the rare goods. When Europe speaks in such a fashion, I hear “neo-colonialism.” In the article I commented on the American position, saying “the USA has discovered large reserves in Afghanistan; the Pentagon has estimated the value of the light rare earth elements (REE) discovered there at about $7.4 billion. This probably means that the US Army won’t let the Afghani people live in peace until this resource is depleted.” Next day, the article was reproduced also by Global Research, where it appears with the publishing date. This is relevant, because today, America reacted to the European declaration by giving Afghanistan the status of Major Non-NATO Ally, apparently in order to assure control on its REE. There is no need to be a professional prophet in order to outguess the invariably violent moves of empires.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

 

Mineral Fortune

 

A mountainous country, Afghanistan was suspected of possessing mineral fortunes since the 19th century, when it played a central role in the Great Game between the British and Russian empires. Both empires conducted extensive geological studies in the area; the USSR—the Russian Empire successor—maintained around 250 scientists studying Afghanistan’s geology during the 1960s and 1970s. Oil, natural gas, and related goods were found in large quantities. In 2007, a 30-year lease was granted to the China Metallurgical Group for the Aynak Copper Mine. Steel Authority of India won the mining rights to the huge Hajigak Iron Mine. The map below shows the results of the U.S. Geological Survey – Afghanistan Geological Survey Joint Mineral Resource Assessment Team (2010). Afghanistan sits atop a mineral fortune. Additional surveys found REE in large quantities; the incomplete data on these, assess them at $7.4 billion, the ores including mainly light rare earth elements.

Despite its awesome mineral richness, Afghanistan is one of the ten poorest countries in the world; mainly due to the ongoing devastation caused by the different empires involved in the area. After REE were found, Afghanistan was doomed. In recent years these elements have become increasingly used, especially in thin, bright-color screens and computer memories. As such, they have become strategic for countries with advanced industries, which can also use them for their nuclear and space industries. At this moment, none of them has any value to Afghanistan, except as minerals for export. The Afghani space industry belongs to the far, far future. The USA was unlikely to let this richness be enjoyed by its owners; today a Major Non-NATO Ally status was imposed on this occupied country.

U.S. Geological Survey – Afghanistan Geological Survey Joint Mineral Resource Assessment Team (2010) | French Ministry of Defense

U.S. Geological Survey – Afghanistan Geological Survey Joint Mineral Resource Assessment Team (2010) | Mineral Fortune

1. Khanneshin carbonatite 2. Balkhab copper 3. Hajigak iron 4. Takhar placer gold 5. Anyak copper 6. Badakshan load gold 7. Takhar evaporite 8. Kundalyan gold and copper 9. Dusar-Shaida copper and tin 10. Tourmaline tin 11. Karnak-Kanjar mercury 12. Nalbandon lead and zinc 13. Panshir Valley emerald 14. Katawaz gold 15. Chagai Hills travertine, copper and gold 16. Baghlan clay and gypsum 17. Zarkashan gold and copper 18. Dudkash industrial minerals 19. Kunduz celestite 20. Herat barite and limestone 21. Bakhud fluorite 22. Uruzgan tin and tungsten 23. Ghunday Achin magnesite and talc 24. Nuristan pegmatites 25. Namaksar lithium salts 26. Godzareh (Gaudi Zireh) lithium salts 27. Dashti Nawar lithium salts

 

Major Non-NATO Ally

 

The still-largest economy of the world has defined as a major ally one of the smallest economies. The unbeatable American-Afghani Alliance will now defeat the world. China, build a new Great Wall! Russia, triple your nuclear arsenal! Fiji, prepare for a merciless maritime attack! It is remarkable that the US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the news while visiting Kabul—Afghanistan’s capital—without laughing.

The status of Major Non-NATO Ally is given by the USA to countries that have strategic relationships with the US army but are not members of NATO. After Afghanistan was awarded it, the number of countries and special territories possessing it rose to 17. They include Japan, Israel, Pakistan, South Korea, and other strategically located territories. The usual reason for giving this award is to allow the beneficiary country access to specific advantages. It is relevant to see and understand the entire list of these:
Cooperative research and development projects with the U.S. Department of Defense
Participation in counter-terrorism initiatives
Purchase of depleted uranium anti-tank rounds
Priority delivery of military surplus
Possession of War Reserve Stocks of DoD-owned equipment
Loans of equipment and materials for cooperative R&D
Permission to use American financing for the purchase of defense equipment
Reciprocal training
Expedited export processing of space technology
Permission for the country's corporations to bid on DoD contracts for the repair and maintenance of military equipment outside the United States.

Hamid Karzai - President of Afghanistan

Afghani President Hamid Karzai

In the past, I commented on NATO warehouses kept in Israel with the understanding that the IDF can use their (very secret) content if necessary. This is one implementation of Israel’s status as Major Non-NATO Ally. Yet, Afghanistan? Will Afghanis be grateful now for their capability to quickly purchase space technology? Will the USA begin inviting Afghani soldiers to train American commandos? The entire list is quite irrelevant in this case. The difference in economical development among the countries is so vast that almost any cooperation between them is worthless. Except for the supply of raw materials from Afghanistan to the USA.

 

Can the USA assure access to the rare goods?

 

In 2014, NATO will end its combat mission in Afghanistan. Unless something dramatic happens, the U.S. will need to leave the country. If that happens, the REE will probably be mined by Chinese or Indian corporations, as it is done now with less-valuable ores. The USA cannot trust the Taliban to provide the necessary dramatic event, so it created it by itself. After recognizing Afghanistan as a Major non-NATO Ally, American presence is not bound by a NATO military intervention. The USA plans to keep military forces after 2014, under the excuse of training the local army, which is now an American ally. This is not hypothetical. During her visit, Hillary Clinton said: “This is the kind of relationship that we think will be especially beneficial as we do the transition and as we plan for the post-2014 presence, it will open the door to Afghanistan’s military to have a greater capability and a broader kind of relationship with the United States and especially the United States military.” Under such circumstances, the USA will have easy control over any desired resources in the area, especially since the actual Afghani regime is completely dependent on America’s goodwill. The Afghani government wasn’t even asked if it wanted the new status; it was imposed by Empire. This week, in the hidden war for the control over strategic deposits of rare earth elements, Europe and the USA have clearly stated their positions. Meanwhile, China is consciously depleting its own ores in Inner Mongolia, hoping to avoid future colonial attacks. Who said the Great Game was over?

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