We need Lithium, Fluorite, Celestite, Pegmatites.
The Marines have helped find them for us.
A while back China's virtual monopoly on the extraction of rare earths looked painful. These elements are critical to making ceramics, batteries, and magnets used in high-tech computer-controlled equipment. Think drones, fighter jets, smart phones, electric cars, things like that.
More recently, there's been good news. US Marines have been shepherding geologists into remote corners of Afghanistan in a search for these minerals.
"These gutsy excursions . . . revealed a superlative cache of rare-earth elements - a coveted subset of critical minerals that have become essential to high-tech manufacturing and yet are in short supply in the US. The prized deposit is comparable to the premier site mined in China."
According to Scientific American, rare earths aren't the only mineral riches being discovered in the hills of Afghanistan.
"Vast deposits of copper and iron in the northeast near the nation's capital, Kabul, are together worth hundreds of billions of dollars . . . including a massive iron ore deposit valued at $420 billion."
Although the Administration is working hard today to get US forces out of Afghanistan, the chance for America to have access to these riches argues against leaving. There's even speculation the underground riches could produce such a lucrative industry for the Afghanis that it would replace poppy-growing and lead the country into modern-day relations with the rest of the world.
Can money can do what arms could not?