WHY IS AFGHANISTAN SO IMPORTANT?
Rivalry for pipeline routes and energy resources reflects competition for power and control in the region. Pipelines are important today in the same way that railway building was important in the 19th century. They connect trading partners and influence the regional balance of power.
Since the 1990s,
The proposed pipeline is called TAPI, after the initials of the four participating countries (
The rivalry continues with plans for new gas pipelines to Europe from
A very big game is underway, with geopolitics intruding everywhere.
John Foster is an energy economist and author of "A Pipeline Through A
THE BACK STORY
THE HIDDEN OIL WARS
A WAR ABOUT OIL. . .AND WE LOST
Peter Symonds, Bangkok Post, 2002 - A little publicized agreement signed in the Pakistani capital of
The lion's share of the profits, however, will not go to the three countries but to the transnational energy giants that have been scrambling for ways to exploit the huge oil and gas reserves in Central Asia - the world's second largest after the
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's ties to the
Most of the major energy giants including Chevron Texaco, Exxon Mobil, BP and Halliburton have invested substantial sums in the region. Over the last five years, total
Daniel Fisher Forbes, 2002 - It has been called the pipeline from hell, to hell, through hell. It's a 1,270-kilometer conduit, 1.2 meters in diameter, that would snake across
Larry Chin Online Journal, 2002 - For years, Enron (along with Unocal, BP Amoco, Exxon, Mobil, Pennzoil, Atlantic Richfield, Chevron, Texaco, and other oil companies) has been involved in a multi-billion dollar frenzy to extract the reserves of the three former Soviet republics, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. . . According to Alexander's Oil & Gas Connections, Enron signed a contract in 1996, giving it rights to explore 11 gas fields in
As described in many accounts, notably the recently published "Osama Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth" by Jean Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasique, a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) consortium led by Unocal had plans for a 1,005 mile oil pipeline and a 918 mile natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. This project stalled because of the political instability in
Former Unocal lobbyist Hamid Karzai now heads a bombed and gutted
Ranjit Devraj, Asia Times, 2002 - Where the "great game" in Afghanistan was once about czars and commissars seeking access to the warm water ports of the Persian Gulf, today it is about laying oil and gas pipelines to the untapped petroleum reserves of Central Asia . . . "US influence and military presence in Afghanistan and the Central Asian states, not unlike that over the oil-rich Gulf states, would be a major strategic gain," said V R Raghavan, a strategic analyst and former general in the Indian army. Raghavan believes that the prospect of a western military presence in a region extending from Turkey to Tajikistan could not have escaped strategists who are now readying a military campaign aimed at changing the political order in Afghanistan, accused by the United States of harboring Osama bin Laden . . . [A] study by the Institute for Afghan Studies placed the total worth of oil and gas reserves in the Central Asian republics at around US$3 trillion at last year's prices. Not only can
Building the pipeline would help
The Central Asian governments of
The oil pipeline would send a powerful political message to the region: The United States will support those countries that support it.
Julio Godoy, Inter Press Service, 2001 - In the book "Bin Laden, la verite interdite" ("Bin Laden, the forbidden truth"), the authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's deputy director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest over obstruction. Brisard claim O'Neill told them that "the main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were
The two claim the
According to the book, the government of Bush began to negotiate with the Taliban immediately after coming into power in February.
Ben Aris & Ahmed Rashid, Telegraph,
Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, London. 2001 - A new and potentially explosive Great Game is being set up and few in
Department Of Energy, 2001:
John J. Maresca, Vice President Unocal in testimony before a House committee, February 12, 1998: Today we would like to focus on issues concerning this region, its resources and
[An] option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the
Unocal envisions the creation of a Central Asian Oil Pipeline Consortium. The pipeline would become an integral part of a regional oil pipeline system that will utilize and gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in
The pipeline would benefit
A recent study for the World Bank states that the proposed pipeline from Central Asia across
Sabrina Tavernise, NY Times, 2001: Breaking a logjam that has held up Western-led oil development in
Frank Viviano, San Francisco Chronicle, 2001: Beyond American determination to hit back against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, beyond the likelihood of longer, drawn-out battles producing more civilian casualties in the months and years ahead, the hidden stakes in the war against terrorism can be summed up in a single word: oil. The map of terrorist sanctuaries and targets in the Middle East and