China wins struggle for Pipelinestan

A common explanation for the US presence in Afghanistan is Washington’s interest in Central Asian fuel sources– natural gas in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and petroleum in Kazakhstan. The idea of Zalmay Khalilzad and others was to bring a gas pipeline down through Afghanistan and Pakistan to energy-hungry India. Turkmenistan became independent of Moscow in 1991, making the project plausible. For this reason some on the political Right in the US actually supported the Taliban as a force for law and order. If that was the plan, it has failed. Instead China has landed the big bid to develop a major gas field in Turkmenistan, along with a pipeline to Beijing.

·

EUROPEAN PIPE DREAMS SHATTERED

·

by Juan Cole

·

[Note for WoP readers: Here is the latest piece, brief but very much to the point – from Juan Cole of Informed Comment. Sometimes, a few words are good enough to pass on your message and they just hit the right chord.

The symphony of life does not need bombs and missiles to strike this chord; it is just the plain, truthful words, short, to the point and life becomes vibrant… Juan Cole has done exactly that…. Nayyar]

A common explanation for the US presence in Afghanistan is Washington’s interest in Central Asian fuel sources– natural gas in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and petroleum in Kazakhstan. The idea of Zalmay Khalilzad and others was to bring a gas pipeline down through Afghanistan and Pakistan to energy-hungry India. Turkmenistan became independent of Moscow in 1991, making the project plausible. For this reason some on the political Right in the US actually supported the Taliban as a force for law and order.

If that was the plan, it has failed. Instead, China has landed the big bid to develop a major gas field in Turkmenistan, along with a pipeline to Beijing. Turkmenistan had strongly considered piping the gas to Moscow instead, but developed conflicts with Gazprom.

So the US is bogged down in an Afghanistan quagmire, and China is running off with the big regional prize.

On Tuesday, radical guerrillas deployed a bomb to kill 8 persons and wound 40 in an upscale area of Kabul where foreigners, including Indian aid workers, live– in another sign of the deterioration of security in Afghanistan’s capital. It is obvious how long a gas pipeline would last under these circumstances.

I’m not sure very many politicians in Washington were ever really so interested in the gas pipeline. For someone like then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, making Afghanistan a US base may have aimed at surrounding and weakening Russia and keeping it from reemerging as a peer (a la the attempted push of NATO into places like Georgia.)

Some US leaders, however, were pushing for it. In recent years a Turkmenistan pipeline was seen as a way of forestalling India from breaking the embargo on Iran. And I remember that in fall 2001, when congressmen asked Colin Powell how the Afghanistan war would be paid for, he replied that the region is rich in resources. Since Afghanistan is not, he must have been speaking of places like Turkmenistan.

In any case the Chinese just demonstrated that you don’t need war to get resources. Avoid costly adventurism and grow your economy like hell, and it all falls into your lap.

Next:Turkmenistan Gas is now flowing to China Overland

Source
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We atWonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
Advertisements
Published in: on 16/12/2009 at 6:51 pm  Comments (4)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://wondersofpakistan.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/china-wins-struggle-for-pipelinestan/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Wonders of Pakistan […]

  2. […] Posts: 1. Energy security, diplomacy and pipeline corridors…all over EURASIA 2. China wins struggle for Pipelinestan 3. Turkmenistan Gas is now flowing to China Overland 5. […]

  3. […] China wins struggle for Pipelinestan 2. Empire’s Paranoia About the Pashtuns [in three parts] 3. Turkmenistan Gas is now flowing to […]

  4. […] China wins struggle for Pipelinestan 2.Empire’s Paranoia About the Pashtuns [in three parts] 3. Turkmenistan Gas is now flowing to […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: