Friday, 24 December 2010

Why we are in Afghanistan

‘It’s about not letting anything get in your way and, in the extreme, about intimidating others to get out of your way.’

Former Ford Motor Company strategist Jim Bulin, talking to New York Times investigative reporter Keith Bradsher about SUVs. His words could equally be used to explain post 9/11 US policy in Central Asia

‘Afghanistan could be even more important to global oil supply than even Saudi Arabia. In 1997 BBC News reported that the American-Saudi oil consortium UNOCOL tried to negotiate pipeline deals through Afghanistan from the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea is a California-sized body of salt water – the world’s largest land-locked body of water – that may sit on as much as two hundred billion barrels of oil, which would be 16 per cent of the Earth’s potential currently estimated oil reserves. At today’s prices, that could add up to three trillion dollars in oil.
As the world’s quest for new oil reserves intensifies, so will the ‘war on terror’.’

Oil rig worker Paul Carr, This is Not a Drill. Carr travelled to Afghanistan with his company’s ‘Private Military Contractors’ (PMCs).

If you find a map of the proposed Unocol pipeline on the net, then compare that with Afghanistan's Route One, the Kandahar to Herat Highway, you'll see they are the same. Nothing surprising there, you might think - easier to build, patrol and repair it. But look closer. The nations alloted to the route... Canada: Kandahar, British (and their biggest, most expensive base ever): Helmand, Herat: American. Kabul is the capital, over to the east. But it's this winding, pencil-thin strip that has the full attention of the oil-consuming WASPS. Sorry, did I say oil-consuming? Freudian slip. Defenders of Western Freedom I meant to say; after all... it might just be blind coincidence. Right?


  1. Link to map

  2. Thanks Trevor... but there's an even more detailed map somewhere, looking only at Afghanistan... I'll dig it out and link to it when I get time.

  3. Sure Neil is right. It would be good to see the route of pipeline on the map in relation to the bases. Reveals the priorities alright.

  4. Just a typo... Hi Elizabeth... I've tried hard to find base locations but they're not available, security I suppose they would claim. And like you say: they would reveal the pattern to the lay observer.