The U.S. Army: Security Guards for the PRC

I admit the title is a bit of a stretch: American soldiers aren’t really acting as hired gunsels for the People’s Republic of China, at least not intentionally. It’s just a side effect of the war in Afghanistan.

But the end result is the same: with the help of the military might of the United States, the ChiComs stand to make a fortune in Afghanistan. We’re securing billions of dollars in Chinese investments by protecting their mining operation from the Taliban.

According to The Arizona Daily Star:

GIs guard huge Chinese mine project in Afghanistan

JALREZ VALLEY, Afghanistan — In this Taliban stronghold in the mountains south of Kabul, the U.S. Army is providing the security that will enable China to exploit one of the world’s largest unexploited deposits of copper, earn tens of billions of dollars and feed its voracious appetite for raw materials.

U.S. troops set up bases last month along a dirt track a Chinese firm is paving as part of a $3 billion project to gain access to the Aynak copper reserves.

Some troops made camp outside a compound built for the Chinese road crews, who are about to return from winter break. American forces also have expanded their presence in neighboring Logar province, where the Aynak deposit is.

The U.S. deployment wasn’t intended to protect the Chinese investment — the largest in Afghanistan’s history — but to strangle Taliban infiltration into the capital of Kabul. But if the mission provides the security that a project to revive Afghanistan’s economy needs, the synergy will be welcome.

– – – – – – – –


Beijing faces enormous challenges in completing the project and gaining access to the estimated 240 million tons of copper ore that are accessible through surface mining. Taliban-led insurgents operate in large parts of Logar and Wardak; the area is sown with mines; and China must complete an ambitious set of infrastructure projects, including Afghanistan’s first national railway, as part of the deal.

The site was discovered by an Afghan-Soviet team in 1974. But in the face of armed resistance during their 1979-89 occupation of Afghanistan, the Soviets were never able to develop the site.

The main challenge to the state-owned China Metallurgical Construction Corp. is the Taliban, who moved into Kabul’s southern fringes after China clinched the deal, prompting the January deployment in Logar and Wardak of more than 2,000 troops from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, N.Y. On Tuesday, a roadside bomb injured three policemen protecting a crew building an access road to Aynak.


Other challenges include transporting equipment and materials into the landlocked nation from Pakistan and Central Asia; Kabul’s inexperience in handling massive projects; endemic corruption; lax enforcement of laws; and the global economic meltdown.

Moreover, China must deliver the infrastructure projects that helped it snag the deal.

These include an on-site copper smelter; a $500 million generating station to power the project and augment Kabul’s electricity supply; a coal mine to fuel the power station; a ground-water system, roads, new homes, hospitals and schools for mine workers and their families; and a railway line from the country’s northern border with Uzbekistan to its southeastern border with Pakistan.

The deal, Ashraf said, is structured so that by the seventh year, the entire work force will be Afghan. Beginning in 2010, 60 Afghan engineering students a year will study in China, he said, adding that Chinese language courses have begun at Kabul University.

Employment projections vary, but there is general agreement that as many as 10,000 workers could be hired at Aynak and the coal mine in central Afghanistan, which the Jalrez Valley road project will link to the copper field. The railway will need thousands more.

China may hope that the Aynak deal will help position it to compete for more projects in Afghanistan. The region is thought to hold some of the world’s last major untapped deposits of iron, copper, gold, uranium, precious gems and other raw materials.

Consider the list of beneficiaries mentioned above:

  • China
  • Afghanistan
  • The local economy south of Kabul
  • The workforce of Aynak
  • For the Jalrez Valley: new roads, railways, water systems, power plants, schools, and other infrastructure
  • Chinese universities
  • Afghan universities
  • And presumably even the Taliban, who are sure to rake in piles of protection money once the mines are a going concern

But there’s nothing in it for the United States of America. None of our soldiers will carry home suitcases full of newly-smelted copper.

The only thing we will get out of the deal is that the Muslims will love us and forgive us, and terrorism will finally disappear from the face of the earth.

That’s what John Kerry says, so it must be true.

The Chinese Communists will make an enormous amount of money, and in return we will have the privilege of borrowing some of it.

The entire United States military is now China’s Blackwater — only the pay isn’t as good.

Hat tip: Zenster.

2 thoughts on “The U.S. Army: Security Guards for the PRC

  1. I am absolutely livid about this. Even if China paid for our troop deployment it still would not remove the basic inequity of the situation.

    The whole notion of making Muslim countries prosperous means exactly squat if these Islamic utopias are allowed to implement shari’a law. Regardless of economic prosperity they will remain cesspits of human rights abuse.

    Furthermore, it is pretty well known that Islam hates prosperity. Consider this article about the now-dead but once close associate of Osama bin Laden, Yussuf al-Ayyeri :

    What Al-Ayyeri sees now is a ”clean battlefield” in which Islam faces a new form of unbelief. This, he labels ”secularist democracy.” This threat is ”far more dangerous to Islam” than all its predecessors combined. The reasons, he explains in a whole chapter, must be sought in democracy’s ”seductive capacities.”

    This form of ”unbelief” persuades the people that they are in charge of their destiny and that, using their collective reasoning, they can shape policies and pass laws as they see fit. That leads them into ignoring the ”unalterable laws” promulgated by God for the whole of mankind, and codified in the Islamic shariah (jurisprudence) until the end of time.

    The goal of democracy, according to Al-Ayyeri, is to ”make Muslims love this world, forget the next world and abandon jihad.” If established in any Muslim country for a reasonably long time, democracy could lead to economic prosperity, which, in turn, would make Muslims ”reluctant to die in martyrdom” in defense of their faith.

    He says that it is vital to prevent any normalization and stabilization in Iraq. Muslim militants should make sure that the United States does not succeed in holding elections in Iraq and creating a democratic government. ”If democracy comes to Iraq, the next target [for democratization] would be the whole of the Muslim world,” Al-Ayyeri writes.
    [emphasis added]

    What’s more, the historical record clearly demonstrates that wealth in Muslim countries is totally lopsided in its distribution. What prospect is there for any change with respect to this in Afghanistan? Less than zero would be my answer. Hamid Karzai’s family is running the heroin trade and the civilian population is doing squat to out the Taliban terrorists.

    However unpopular my position may be, I continue to maintain that any Muslim country liberated by the USA should be retained as a suzerain to be operated under a strict military dictatorship. In return for the cost of eliminating their previous tyrannies plus the global mayhem they so often cause, America should have the right to manage and profit from natural resource extraction among other enterprises.

    Al Qaeda’s Taliban-assisted 9-11 atrocity cost the USA some ONE TRILLION dollars in economic damage alone. The global figure is likely double or triple that. The Afghani and Iraqi campaigns have consumed another TRILLION as well. If these hostile Islamic regimes want to antagonize the Western dragon, they had better be prepared to see their countries secured and turned into our nation’s private south forty.

    Does anyone honestly think that the railroad and other infrastructure being installed by China will actually reverse the ascendancy of Islam and shari’a law in Afghanistan? Most likely, the only thing that will EVER thwart Islamic influence in Muslim majority countries is the ruthless suppression of its practice until two or more generations can grow up free of its violent intolerance for all things modern.

    There is absolutely nothing to indicate that any such thing will be happening in Afghanistan as we continue to pour our troops’ blood and our national treasure into their ungrateful hands.

  2. At first reaction, without having thought the matter through carefully, I suggest the following, somewhat more optimistic, scenario. When we Americans finally acknowledge the enormous waste of attempting to free and “democratize” islamic states and we withdraw from Afganistan (may it be this afternoon, merciful Lord), the Chinese will be stuck with a host of problems and headaches — and probably not much copper.

    They will have then to protect their investment from the Taliban and other warlords of the Land of the Ubiquitous Burka. The entire enterprise likely will be nationalized by whatever corrupt and avaricious government succeeds the Karzai Kabal. China will either send in its own troups, to become bogged in the quagmire that Afganistan has been for every great power that has tried to rule it, or they will have to pay through the nose for the privilege of providing jobs to ungrateful Afganis.

    Not the best bargain we ever concluded, but not all downside either.

Comments are closed.