By Michael Patrick, Ph.D.
Why does Afghanistan appear such a puzzle in the news? At the moment: Misdirection.
The American public is loaded with questions and they get few honest answers about Afghanistan.
Why the rush? We see and hear who is losing. Who is winning? Truthful answers make people uncomfortable.
Zoom out from the horrific chaos and immediate human tragedy to take a wider, longer view. Follow the money and get a glimpse of what is now fully in the cue and next on deck.
Remember Dustin Hoffman in the graduate when he was advised about his future? “Plastics”, the industrialist said.
Now? Try the word, “Lithium.” Afghanistan’s future has been described as the Saudi Arabia of the world’s lithium—critical to alternative energy forms such as electric cars. Afghanistan is next in line for China’s One Belt-One Road projects, mand it’s worth trillions in the globe’s alternative energy future.
Look at the map. China’s Xinjiang Province dominates the world’s hub of alternative energy production, such as current capacity for solar panel production. China already controls about 80 percent of critical minerals globally and holds a virtual lock on manufacturing resources for alternative energy.
China’s “Belt and Road” project, which involves deals in 70+ countries, is already working on rolling out a road, rail and energy pipeline from Peshawar, Pakistan, through Afghanistan to China. The Taliban has already agreed to control China’s Muslim Uyghur militants in exchange for major investment.
China won’t replace the U.S. with an awkward military diplomacy. Think bigger. Like buying Chinese plastic toys at Christmas, the world will plug in its demand for alternative energy resources into China’s virtual new centerpiece in the Middle East.
The U.S. couldn’t pull this off in our deliriously weak environment. We will deal directly or indirectly. We will import and/or manufacture energy alternatives, with China’s help and cooperation, inside America.
I won’t crack the lid here on the U.S. Infrastructure bill, but you get the drift. America is setting aside money to prime the pump. True energy independence is considered an earlier era’s pipe dream.
In Afghanistan today, China rolls forward globally and the U.S military moves out rapidly and “downsizes”. America’s foreign policy has become an ugly twist on the old addage, “lead, follow— or now—just get out of the way.”
For now, it’s all over except the crying.
#Afghanistan #China #Xinjiang #Uyghur #foreignpolicy #alternativeenergy #lithium #energyindependence #U.S.Military