Somebody sort these out for me. Something smells a little "fishy".
"Afghanistan produces over 90% of the world's illicit supply of opiates, the key ingredient of heroin, and has produced more than 6,000 tonnes of opium a year since 2006."
Source: Asia Times
"Afghanistan's untapped mineral wealth is worth at least $3 trillion — triple a U.S. estimate, according to the government's top mining official, who is going to Britain next week to attract investors to mine one of the world's largest iron ore deposits in the war-torn nation. Geologists have known for decades that Afghanistan has vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and other prized minerals, but a U.S. Department of Defense briefing this week put a startling, nearly $1 trillion price tag on the reserves. Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani said Thursday that he's seen geological assessments and industry estimates that the minerals are worth at least $3 trillion."
Source: Associated Press, June 17, 2010
"June 2010 is now the most deadly month of the nine-year Afghanistan war, with more than 100 NATO troops killed. The sobering number comes amid growing debate over strict rules of engagement for US soldiers."
Source: Christian Science Monitor, June 29. 2010
Aligned with the announcement that more soldiers are dead we miraculously make a huge mineral discovery?? We've been in Afghanistan for years, but the opium crop is booming. Hmmmmmmmm.