The crisis besetting the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan has been deepened over recent days. Its own puppet government, headed by President Hamid Karzai, has publicly accused the American military of torture and arbitrary detention at the largest US-run prison in the country: here.
By John Chan:
Afghanistan signs oil contract with Chinese giant
10 January 2012
China’s state-owned National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a $700 million oil exploration contract with the Afghan government last week, the first foreign company to do so in many decades. Mining Minister Wahidullah Shahrani hailed the deal as “historic,” saying it was “the first time that Afghanistan has signed a great contract for the country’s oil exploration.”
The agreement will intensify geopolitical rivalries in Central Asia as the major powers compete for access to vast mineral and energy resources. It will draw Beijing closer into conflict with the ongoing US-led occupation of Afghanistan, as well as with China’s regional rival, India.
Afghanistan has reportedly blocked further progress on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project, due to differences on pricing of gas, official documents exclusively made available to Business Recorder indicate: here.
Activists voice concern that Afghan women’s rights continue to be marginalised, and nowhere is gender inequality more starkly illustrated than in the country’s flawed justice system: here.
USA: In 2010 the Defense Department spend $20 billion on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s the same amount as NASA’s entire budget: here.