Afghanistan: The Heartland for Oil, Gas, Mineral, and Heroin

by James Corbett

. . .

So if the plan to invade Afghanistan was not about 9/11, then why were the neocons so eager to take over the country?

Like any major military operation, there are multiple strategic objectives to be achieved.

Securing a key transportation corridor from rich Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves has always been one important objective of the Afghanistan war.

But this was by no means the only objective of the invasion.

From the monetary perspective there is as much as a trillion dollars of untapped mineral wealthin the country that could make it one of the world’s leading mining centres in the coming years, a mineral wealth that has been known about for decades.

And there is also the fact that the world’s lucrative multi-billion dollar heroin trade sources almost entirely from the country, with up to 90% of the world’s opium coming from the record crops that are being diligently protected by US troops.

The oil and gas pipelines. The mineral extraction. The opium. All of these are factors in the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan years after any pretence of an excuse for NATO’s presence evaporated. But there is one factor that has made Afghanistan the target of would-be world rulers for centuries: its location.

In 1904, Sir Halford John Mackinder PC, the Director of the London School of Economics, published an essay in The Geographical Journal titled “The Geographical Pivot of History.” In that essay, Mackinder laid out the “Heartland Theory,” a theory that would come to dominate foreign policy and geostrategic thought.

The Heartland Theory holds that the earth’s surface can be divided into a “world island,” the “offshore islands” and the “outlying islands.” The “Heartland” lay at the center of the “world island” and the Eurasian landmass, and its importance was summarized in Mackinder’s famous dictum:

“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;

Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;

Who rules the World-Island commands the World.”

This is why control of the Central Asian region, and Afghanistan in particular, has been prized by empire since the 19th century, when Britain and Russia engaged in diplomatic struggle, intelligence operations, military conflicts and subterfuge for control over Afghanistan in what was called “The Great Game.” And this is why former National Security Advisor and perennial Washington insider Zbigniew Brzezinski was able to predict in his 1997 magnum opus, “The Grand Chessboard,” that the first major war of the 21st century would take place in Afghanistan.

Brzezniski had no crystal ball. He did not know that the neocons would be in office in 2001. He had not seen NSPD-9. He did not know how 9/11 would be used as the fig leaf to cover the naked ambition of NATO’s land grab. But he did understand the geostrategic imperatives of world empires, and he knew that control over Central Asia was crucial to control over the world. Without NATO’s Afghanistan toehold, the US hegemon would have no chance of countering China and Russia in the New Great Game of the 21st century.

This is what Afghanistan was, is and always will be about: empire. The naked ambition of would-be world rulers. As long as that ambition remains unchecked, NATO will continue to keep its forces in the region at any cost. And as Russia and China continue to exert their own influence in the region, that deployment brings us one step closer to direct military confrontation.

And the people of Afghanistan, once again, are crushed underfoot, mere pawns in the game for world empire.

Full article with video is here.


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