There are two possible ulterior motives that the United States had for invading Afghanistan; valuable metals and geopolitics. These hidden interests were critical in Bush choosing to invade Afghanistan, rather than other nations housing Al Qaeda and continues to play a critical role in the future development America’s foreign policy in Asia; whether they are facing the nuclear warheads of Iran or the aggressive Chinese military.
What Valuable Metals are in Afghanistan?
While investigating old Soviet mineral studies of the country American geologists discovered that there were a trillion dollars worth of metal in Afghanistan. This mineral deposit is perhaps the largest in the world, containing valuable metals like gold and silver, along with rare metals such as platinum and rhodium. Should Afghanistan stabilize these minerals will be mined, I personally suspect the Afghani people will be exporting these minerals to their American liberators. This will be lucrative for both parties.
If this is in fact an ulterior motive American troops invaded Afghanistan so corporations and lawmakers could turn a profit and help the international economy. These influential executives did know about the minerals before hand, they did posses the Soviet geological surveys that dated much earlier. There greed helped liberate a suppressed nation, but all killed several thousand American soldiers.
What is Geopolitics?
Geopolitics is the foreign policy based on a study, evaluation, and utilization of strategic locations around the world, both for economic and security reasons. This is Afghanistan:
Afghanistan and Surrounding Nations
Why is Geopolitics Important to American Foreign Policy?
America is a global superpower; it maintains its military dominance by brining countries all around the world under its influence to combat enemies. Israel is an American foothold in the Western Middle East, South Korea has 25,000 armed American troops, and there are 116,400 American soldiers scattered throughout Europe. Without friendly nations American troops cannot safely deploy, either they would have to risk parachuting in or illegally stationing troops in disgruntled neutral counties. Both of these options are unfavorable. Afghanistan is in a perfect place for future American foreign geopolitical policy.
Afghanistan borders two possibly threatening nations: Iran and China.
Why is Iran Dangerous?
Iran actively pursues an anti-American agenda, building nuclear weapons while denouncing American policy. There may come a day when American troops need to be deployed quickly into Iran, to seize and dismantle weapons of mass destruction or damage the nation to the point that Iran collapses. National security is perhaps the most important concern of any nation; if America did not protect itself it would quickly be seized or invaded by less virtuous nations.
To defend itself American needs a friendly outpost near Iran; Afghanistan is the ideal country. They share a long mountainous border, which is virtually impossible for defending Iranian troops to fully monitor. Troops deployed into Iran may be able to avoid fighting Iran head on, seizing victory and the weapons of mass destruction without significant, if any casualties.
Why is China Dangerous?
China is the second most powerful superpower in the world and is set to surpass the gross domestic product of American by 2020, at that time it will become the dominant superpower of the world. It has the world’s largest population, largest energy usage, and the largest military in the world. It is a potentially lethal rival to America; should the two nation war it is unknown who would come out on top, if anyone.
In addition to this China has had an aggressive foreign policy, occupying defenseless nations and backing dictators. Tibet was invaded by Chinese troops in 1950, has killed tens of thousands of the natives in the process of annexing the country. North Korea is supported by China; with this relationship it is almost certain North Korea totalitarian communist regime would have crumbled. Sudan committed large-scale genocide in Darfur under Chinese protection, who received large amounts of gold and oil while arming the Sudanese with modern weapons. China is dangerous, perhaps the single most threatening country in the world.
Should China threaten America troops need to be able to deploy to the region to defend America; it would be preferable to fight World War Three in the Chinese Heartland instead of the American coastline. Already American has geopolitical outposts in Taiwan and South Korea, Afghanistan gives them a third root of attack should it be necessary. Ideally troops will never have to be mobilized; the threat of violence should stave off the Chinese. Hopefully.
Was The American Invasion of Afghanistan Unjustly Wrong?
These ulterior motives are not the core reason America went to war in Afghanistan.
America had clear, morally correct justification for liberating Afghanistan; it was a gallant counterstrike against the Al Qaeda to extract vengeance for the tragedy of September 11, 2001. This conflict freed a suppressed people from an extreme Islam government and crippled the largest terrorism organization in the world.
Secondary ulterior motives were not what caused the invasion, but they played a crucial role in where the invasion took place.
President Bush choose to invade Afghanistan, rather than other nations that housed Al Qaeda such as Somalia, Eritrea, and Yemen . Afghanistan was important in the present; it broke up the high command of Al Qaeda and decimated the terrorist organization. In the future it may prove to be economically crucial and key to America’s security. It may not should history evolve in unexpected ways.
The true value of the Afghanistan and the noble troops who died liberating it, still has yet to be seen as the world progresses into the early twenty-first century.