One of the great troubles for Afghanistan has been that the country simply has nothing the world wants which prevents international investments, reduces internal ability to build infrastructure, etc. To make matters worse, the one thing Afghanistan can do is produce 90% of the world’s opium. While UN estimates have predicted Afghanistan’s opium production would diminish, the eradication of the poppies has proven nearly impossible. And then a rich deposit of minerals was discovered. Geologists estimate nearly a trillion dollars worth of iron, copper, gold and lithium deposits, all of which are in high demand in the electronics industry. Could this be the great windfall Afghanistan needed to bootstrap itself into the 21st century? Or will they prove themselves as incapable of managing the resource wealth as Iraq?
This article was edited after publication by the author on 21 Jun 2010. View changes.