This is Post #50 in the new Series “Going to Afghanistan”.
~ The roots of a $1 Trillion Dollar “discovery” and a little about oil from the gulf.
I know you probably find it a little hard sometimes to see things “my way”. A little documentation is always nice. You can get your own copy of this from the Agency for International Development (AID) (archives – it was ICA in 1958) if you don’t believe me; if you think I photo-shop things myself. These documents are real.
So I am posting a few “family mementos” – papers from the past to show that “what’s new” is maybe not so new.
Exhibit ‘A’ is a simple list from Fred’s Division (not military, but maybe a little like military just the same) – maybe like the first American Invasion of Afghanistan (circa 1958; not the 2001 one at all).
I didn’t see it as an invasion then; I saw it more like “doing good”, like “a trip”, like “my life” in Afghanistan – a nice place (then). But looking back on the documents (from now) makes them seem a little more disconcerting. The projects, but more – the priorities – are clear. You don’t need it spelled out with big numbers, starting with “one”, to make the point. You don’t need a document deliberately without a date to make the point. But here it IS and it is so abundantly clear (now).
10 of the Projects of ICA in Afghanistan – circa 1958.
Clayton Family Document from the Donald Clayton collection – This image is contributed to the Public Domain under the parameters of Qala Bist Blue.
This list shows the project ID numbers and the ICA USOM/A person in charge of the specific project. Actually, several projects often fell within the parameters suggested by this list; and as you will see by subsequent documents the “scope” of the parameters was often changing.
Projects pertinent to the identification of and development of (exploitation of) Mineral Resources and coal production in Afghanistan was in the hands of Robert Davis in 1958. This is perhaps interesting to consider in light of the release two days ago of the U.S. Military assessment of the potential (in 2010) of the Mineral Resources of Afghanistan.
This thing goes a long way back folks!
In case it is not as clear to YOU as it is to me let’s look at this list a bit with fresh eyes. The exploitation of Afghanistan’s natural resources is #1. #2 is reconnaissance and mapping; there were no satellite surveillance systems then, no ground penetrating radar; but a good geologist (like Fred) could see things just the same (and did; and so did many others).
The Helmand Valley was first about electric power (not agriculture, more the ruse). Fred was an engineer that built dams and airports; irrigation was act two – “power” always precedes food on THIS planet. Which brings us to “industry” and Industrial Districts (in Kandahar); industry needs power (back to #3).
#5 is “Educational Facilities” the battle for the “hearts and minds”. Kabul University (an American project) was not about philosophy, theory, religion and good government – it was there to teach science (nuclear engineering, chemistry – things like that). #6 brings us finally to “food”; but not food in the old way (old ways) – this is “new food” folks, maybe not genetic engineering “GM” (yet, but not too far from it. Lashkar Gah was an American community (per design), tractors and chemicals all made in the U.S.S.A. – Whoray!
#7 is the “Air Power” thing. KIA was the first “Jet Port”; Bagram came close behind; then the Russians built Kabul (International Airport) and the war was on. #8 is of course about the OIL! Roads to replace camel trails and caravans, trucks burning fossil fuels always coming in; you’ve seen the pictures, the trucks – Fred’s car; all the other “American” cars there (mostly just for show) – a real CAR SHOW with all the American models and the model of America – America using Oil!
#9 – always “number nine” – more oil folks. Oil for asphalt, oil for trucks, oil for cars – make Afghanistan dependent on oil. And then we have the “Code 10” “Ten code” #10. It means everything from “fight in progress” to “bomb threat” to “off-duty”. You take your pick, we’re talking “Afghan regional transit” here; sounds like a roadside bomb to me; or maybe just neglected infrastructure – this country ain’t going nowhere under the Americans baby (not maybe).
Let me make it CLEAR. I never saw all of this this way until today! This list was made before Fred came along; Fred (my father) did not make this list. He was given this list by someone “higher up” the chain. I’m not convinced he even understood at the time “the plan”, the “stakes”; what someone was really after. He loved Afghanistan and the people; but too – he had a job to do – let’s put that job to an end – a real end – like let’s stop that JOB right now!
Stop the drilling! Take down the walls and dams and damn walls! Let the people free!
Note: For more documents and documentation check the monthly posts under 1958; the document list is growing. I will try to make a “click here” list; but you know that I’m still looking for pictures of two old cars and columns east of Beirut (so don’t hold your breath). Maybe I should create a new catagory “Documents” and make it real(ly) easy.
[First posted 2010.06.16 / Wednesday ] 11:35 P.M. Mountain War Time