Aynak and the future of Logar

So, the good news, according to TOLO is that the Chinese are ever closer to extracting copper from Aynak mine located just 20km north of the Czech PRT. According to the TOLO reports, they will start in three years after putting in place needed sources of energy to power the extraction process. Over 20,000 jobs for people are said to be created once the mine is in full swing. I can’t but wonder if that is really true.

I would like to believe that the Chinese will stay away from bringing their own workforce and will rather tap into the local job market. This will, however, necessitate preparations to train the workforce and my suggestion is to start sooner rather than later. Or are the Chinese not willing to give Logaries any false hopes?

With elections fast approaching, I haven’t seen one candidate in Logar mention Anyiak at all. Maybe it is looking too far into the future. Maybe, because we hardly know what will happen next week. So while the Chinese are busy doing business, the Americans and the Czechs are working hard to stabilize the province through mix of bullets and bricks. Let’s see who lasts longer!

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Vaclav Pecha
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14 Comments

  • Dušan Rovenský
    2. 9. 2010, 17:10

    This is what I don’t get. We invest big time (both money and human effort) into security of Logar and get NOTHING back in return. Instead we pave the way for Chinese mining companies (and not only them). I haven’t heard of any Czech company getting any kind of contract in Logar or Afghanistan in general. That’s not how I envision partnership – take (military hardware for ANA/ANP, training of ANA/ANP, investment in infrastructure development etc.) but give nothing in return (because that is exactly what Afghan government is doing). Or are we some kind of deranged do-gooders?

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  • Petr Z.
    2. 9. 2010, 17:35

    I can understand your sarcasm or disappointment, but it was an open tender, where companies from USA, Russia and Canada competed. So if the official motive for Afghanistan is to install democracy together with open market, then there is nothing wrong about it. Would any Czech company be able to bid around 4 billion dollars? And would not it be only meat for Taliban propaganda against Czech PRT?

    Czech participation in ISAF is not about running profits, if there would be any material benefits, it would only be in the distant future.

    China also promised to build a local power plant (mainly for the purposes for providing electricity for the copper extraction) and to improve infrastructure (otherwise it wont be easy to transport the outputs). And they are interested in gas and iron ore, so get used to the fact, that Chinese are present in the country.

    If China is successful, then there might be benefits for the ISAF effort too, when China will have something to loose in Afghanistan, then she might change its hands off policy. As now she is concerned only with natural resources and Xinjiang province, not that much with the stability of Afghanistan itself.

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  • Dušan Rovenský
    2. 9. 2010, 18:04

    As far as I remember, the official motive for invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was destruction of Taliban regime as a safe haven for Al-Qaeda. I don’t recall anything about establishing democracy or free economy back then. If our participation in ISAF is not about profit (may it be political or economic) for the Czech Republic, than we are indeed idealistic do-gooders that want to “heal the world and make it better place” – paid for by the Czech taxpayers.

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  • Petr Z.
    2. 9. 2010, 20:15

    Well, the US establishment had its mouth full of claims about state and nation-building and democracy, it is without a doubt an important issue, at least for the US audience. And if you recall the last Afghan presidential elections, the main fuzz was precisely about democracy (or its procedural dimension).

    I was of course talking only about material or financial profits regarding Czech rep., where I believe there are not any.On the other hadn, I can see some tangible political profits or benefits.

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  • Dušan Rovenský
    2. 9. 2010, 21:14

    As a soldier, I don’t really care too much about political proclamations. They are aimed at general public, with has little recollection of things that happened in 2001. I, on the other hand, remember those things quite well. Our strategy should have been – enter, locate and destroy the enemy, exit. Everything else – establishment of so-called “democracy”, free market, equal rights society, reconstruction of the country (what’s there to reconstruct, when there was nothing there in the first place?) etc. etc. – is just BS for liberal media and voters.

    Current politicians have absolutely no clue what we should do in Afghanistan. I see it every day how hard they are trying to sell-off this mire as a so-called “victory”. We, soldiers, have defeated Taliban and Al-Qaeda in 2001 and 2002 but civilian leaders have turned this quick strike mission into occupation with goals, that are set ad-hoc and with little or no understanding of situation on the ground.

    We should refocus on defeating the enemy and getting out. Building a nation is not our responsibility, no matter how harsh my words may seem.

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