News Release

Afghanistan’s $1 Trillion “Resource Curse”


Klare is author of Resource Wars and Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet. In response to recent reports of $1 trillion in mineral resources found in Afghanistan, he said today: “The discovery and development of these mineral reserves in Afghanistan — described as a potential boon to that country by General [David] Petraeus — would be an unmitigated disaster under existing conditions. Because Afghanistan lacks a functioning democracy and an indigenous mining capacity, it would be reliant on foreign firms for technical services, which in turn would be beholden to local officials — read warlords — for the necessary authorizations and protection. The result would be a classic case of the ‘resource curse’ — the development of resources not for the good of the masses but for privileged elites, leading to ingrained corruption, authoritarianism, and violence.”

Klare is Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.

See: “The Resource Curse: Why Lithium May Spell Misery for Afghanistan

Klare also recently wrote the piece “The Relentless Pursuit of Extreme Energy: A New Oil Rush Endangers the Gulf of Mexico and the Planet.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167