Q. What is the new definition of "Taliban"?
A. Anyone who lives above a lithium deposit
On Monday [14 Jun] we learned something that the Pentagon has known for years: Afghanistan is sitting on a trillion dollars worth of valuable minerals.
If you're wondering when the U.S. will withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, you now have your answer: Never. Our worst case scenario is peace. If war ends in Afghanistan, some subset of the Taliban would eventually become fantastically wealthy with the help of foreign mining operations. Nothing good can come from Taliban billionaires. That's the strategic risk that will keep us there forever.
I feel beyond head-shaking, beyond surprise, just sorta numb. It's like we've sh*t the bed and there's just no good way to unsh*t it.