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Originally posted by carlitomoore
This stuff is too good to be true, its history repeating itself! This sums up everything I have been talking about in this thread; Our troops, The Bankers, Corruption.
"Historically, Afghans have regarded railways with suspicion. But now the government is embracing a plan that could help the country tap into global markets, delivering prosperity and even peace", says Afghanistan’s revolution on the rails, an article by Jonathan Gornall at UAE newspaper The National. It includes some interesting comments from railway consultant David Brice, who is working in Afghanistan:
On 16 June 2010 Asian Development Bank approved a further USD700 000 from its Technical Assistance Special Fund for:
A study on railway development for Afghanistan completed for the following routes: (i) From Hairatan at the border with Uzbekistan to Heart [Herat] in the west, via Mazar-e-Sharif; (ii) from Shirkhan Bendar at the border with Tajikistan, via Kunduz to Naibabad [which is on the line under construction from Hayratan] joining Mazar-e-Sharif to Heart; (iii) from Torkham at the border with Pakistan to Jalalabad; and (iv) Spainboldak at the border with Pakistan to Kandahar.
After nearly a century, a modern Afghan railroad is under construction reports CNN. "“This connects Afghanistan to the world,” says an 18-year-old high school student named Shakrullah. He says he hopes to one day get a job as an engineer for the railroad. “I want trains for all the provinces of Afghanistan, not just for Balkh province.”"
n 2010, small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
According to other reports the total mineral riches of Afghanistan may be worth over three trillion US dollars."The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world", the United States officials believe.
The Ghazni Province may hold the world's largest lithium reserves. The deposits were already described in the USGS report on Afghanistan issued in 2007. President Hamid Karzai remarked "Whereas Saudi Arabia is the oil capital of the world, Afghanistan will be the lithium capital of the world.
Deposits in the United States and Canada which need mining operations similar to those necessary for the deposits in Afghanistan went out of production due to cheaper production from lithium containing brines. Afghanistan invited 200 global companies for the development of its mines.
China Metallurgical Group won the bidding for a copper mining project in Aybak, Afghanistan. The bidding process has been criticized by rival Canadian and U.S. companies alleging corruption and questioning the Chinese company's commitment to the Afghan people
In September 2010, China Metallurgical Group signed an agreement with the Afghan Minister of Mines to investigate construction of a north-south railway across Afghanistan, running from Hayratan (on the Uzbek border) to northern Pakistan. China Metallurgical Group was recently awarded a copper mining concession near the route of this railway
Originally posted by Wide-Eyes
Thread looks good, flagged. Will post again when read.
Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled the biggest UK spending cuts for decades, with welfare, councils and police budgets all hit.
The pension age will rise sooner than expected, some incapacity benefits will be time limited and other money clawed back through changes to tax credits and housing benefit.
A new bank levy will also be brought in - with full details due on Thursday.
Mr Osborne said the four year cuts were guided by fairness, reform and growth.
The foreign aid budget will soar by 37 per cent while domestic spending is being slashed.
But the extra cash poured into foreign assistance – amounting to nearly £4billion – comes while other departments are facing drastic cuts.
The department’s ‘resource’ budget – the amount of money it has available after capital costs – will grow by 37 per cent from £6.3billion to £9.4billion.
Critics said it was wrong that poor people in Britain could suffer to help countries that are becoming increasingly rich.
But George Osborne said: ‘Britons can hold their heads up high and say even in these difficult times, we will honour the promises made to some of the poorest people on our planet.’
Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.