Kathy Kelly from Voices for Creative Nonviolence has this to say:
…why is the United States in Afghanistan? I believe that the United States knows that it can’t go after China or Russia, but they want to be able to continue a cold war and have a leg up on China by being able to control the pricing and the flow of resources that would course through Afghanistan. And for this reason, the United States wants to secure its bases, its forward operating bases, its prisons, and what will become an even larger embassy than the one that was built in Baghdad. And meanwhile, the United States public is poorly informed. [Democracy Now 3/12/12.]
It’s not just about Russia and China. The “Iran factor” also looms large:
More than half of Pakistan’s manufacturers use natural gas to power their factories, and no other country relies as heavily on natural gas to fuel its cars, buses and trucks. About 21% of the country’s vehicles run on compressed natural gas.Yet Pakistan produces only 30% of the natural gas it needs. Neighboring Iran, meanwhile, has the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves, topped only by Russia. The proposed 1,300-mile pipeline would deliver to Pakistan more than 750 million cubic feet of gas per day from Iran’s South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.
The U.S. has touted an alternative pipeline project that would transport natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and into Pakistan and India. But with Afghanistan mired in a 10-year-old war with Taliban insurgents, experts in Pakistan doubt that pipeline will ever be built. [LA Times 3/8/12.]