Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Trans-Afghan Pipeline Update

I posted on Nov. 19th (see Archives) about the possible involvement of US companies in a Trans-Afghan pipepline project from Turkmenistan through Pakistan. Apparently things are moving along, with construction expected to begin in 2006. I wonder who will provide security for this pipeline?:
U.S. company Unocal Corp., based in El Segundo, California, was considering participation in the project in the 1990s, but plans were abandoned when the United States fired cruise missiles into Afghanistan in 1998 in pursuit of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, blamed for two U.S. embassy bombings that year in East Africa.

Since the U.S.-led offensive that ousted the Taliban from power, the project has been revived and drawn strong U.S. support. The pipeline would allow formerly Soviet Central Asian nations to exports rich energy resources without relying on Russian routes
Two notes: notice that Unocal didn't have any qualms about dealing with the hated Taliban until US cruise missiles made the project politically infeasible. Also note that the US is looking for ways to bypass Russia to meet its energy needs. This (and the related issue of China's energy needs) will be a major geopolitical fault line for decades to come.

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