Bezhan 13 – your author [Frud Bezhan , “Mineral Wealth Could Harm, Not Aid, Afghanistan's Future”. Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, October 2, 2013. http://www.rferl.org/content/afghanistan-mining-industry-oil-resources-economy/25124104.html. RP 11/6/13]
Afghanistan's mineral wealth is closely tied to its future prospects. If managed well, the theory goes, the mining sector could be the backbone of a sustainable economy, fund national security, and stabilize the government. But the country's natural resources could just as easily undercut Kabul's efforts to stand on its own by exacerbating corruption, forcing a sell-off of prized assets to foreign investors, and becoming yet another source of violent conflict. Based on its handling of the mining sector, observers say, it looks like Afghanistan is on course to join the raft of countries afflicted by the "resource curse." The Mines and Petroleum Ministry estimates that Afghanistan boasts oil, gas, iron ore, copper, and gold deposits worth about $1 trillion. Kabul hopes to generate about $4 billion a year in mining and energy revenue over the next decade. Yet in 2012, the two sectors brought in less than $150 million combined. Stephen Carter, the Afghanistan campaign leader at Global Witness, a London-based nongovernmental organization that investigates links between natural resources, conflict, and corruption, says the government has lacked control over its resource wealth. "The sector, as a whole, is operating in a very uncontrolled way. There's no oversight," Carter says. "We fear that there is this sense that 'we must exploit, we must get this going as quickly as possible.' That's understandable, but if that comes at the expense of taking shortcuts in the control of the sector, I think it will be seen as a very poor decision in the future." Cash Cow? The Afghan government has made the development of its commercial mining sector a top priority. Kabul is counting on the extraction of natural resources to bring in cash and create jobs as the bulk of foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014 and international assistance winds down.But there are already worrying signs that the competition over natural resources could spill over into very real fighting between rival ethnic and political groups.
Now is a key time to build Afghanistan’s economy – economic strength is a better way to solve conflict than the aff – mining is the key internal link
Foust 12 [(Joshua, fellow at the American Security Project and member of the Young Atlanticist Working Group, focuses on the role of market-oriented development strategies in post-conflict environments, worked for the U.S. intelligence community, where he focused on studying the non-militant socio-cultural environment in Afghanistan, and a columnist for PBS Need to Know) “Why We Should Focus on Economics in Afghanistan, Not on Fighting” The Atlantic Apr 5] AT
If there's a magic formula for success in Afghanistan, we haven't found it. Building up tribal militias and local security forces, our standard militarized efforts, don't seem to be working. After nearly 11 years of military intervention, we've learned that developing and stabilizing a war-torn country requires more than just military operations. While military action has its role, what Afghanistan needs is not more militias, more armies, or more fighting -- what it needs is more politics and more economics.. Relying primarily on traditional military operations to keep the war in Afghanistan's chugging along hasn't worked. Maybe it's time to slowly begin pulling Afghanistan off of life support -- militarily and economically. The only way to ensure the country will be able to stand on its own two feetwould be to strengthen its political and economic legs.When NATO forces withdraw from the region, and they will, stability will rest upon the Afghans' ability to create confidence in the government, lasting commercial opportunities for the private sector, and jobs for its citizens. So maybe that's where we should be focusing. The Afghan government certainly cares. Minister of Commerce Anwar-Ul-Haq Ahady visited Washington DC this week, meeting diplomats and giving speeches on economic transition within the country. The Afghan economy is in shambles. The billions in aid have not established sustainable systems and supply chains. Too much of the economy is dependent on foreign handouts instead of local entrepreneurship. Often, projects are started only to be halted due to security issues and ballooning costs. Development is heavily constrained by electricity and transit problems, such as the lack of good rail connections, which forces most transportation to be conducted via road (where it is easily intercepted and robbed or bombed). The process to establish legislation governing commerce, from bankruptcy to competition, has is still struggling. There are new laws, but they're difficult to enforce. Private companies and foreign investors don't yet feel comfortable spending heavily on development within the country. Afghanistan's relations with its neighbors are problematic as well. Landlocked, the nation has long relied upon its border-countries for transporting goods in and out. In recent years, however, thousands of containers have been suspended in the Pakistani port in Karachi. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Agreement was mean to ease transit, but it hasn't. If regular Afghans can't be shown the utility of a market economy and a democratic government, the war will be lost. And right now, we are losing that war. It's not just about fighting the Taliban or even training enough Afghan troops. It's about attaining the confidence of the people in the system as a whole. Instead of fighting the weaknesses of the Afghan state, we should play to Afghanistan's strengths. The country has great potential for economic growth. Foreign investors are showing increased interest in the country as rule of law improves. More companies are looking to establish a presence, especially regarding infrastructure. And manysectors show incredible opportunity, most notably the mining sector. But none of this can happen without NATO shifting their rhetoric and actions to focus more broadly on political and economic security. The foundation needs more support, as troops will soon begin to withdraw. At that point, it is still unclear how the country will do.
Turn – Banning resource extraction forces subsistence miners into illegal activities which is worse for stability
Turn – government regulations force conflict between locals and government officials
Afghan War Defense
Escalation empirically denied—Afghanistan has been unstable for decades without causing great power escalation.
No escalation—no vital interests for great power war in Central Asia.
Richard Weitz, senior fellow and associate director of the Center for Future Security Strategies at the Hudson Institute, Summer 2006. The Washington Quarterly, lexis.
Central Asian security affairs have become much more complex than during the original nineteenth-century great game between czarist Russia and the United Kingdom. At that time, these two governments could largely dominate local affairs, but today a variety of influential actors are involved in the region. The early 1990s witnessed a vigorous competition between Turkey and Iran for influence in Central Asia. More recently, India and Pakistan have pursued a mixture of cooperative and competitive policies in the region that have influenced and been affected by their broader relationship. The now independent Central Asian countries also invariably affect the region’s international relations as they seek to maneuver among the major powers without compromising their newfound autonomy. Although Russia, China, and the United States substantially affect regional security issues, they cannot dictate outcomes the way imperial governments frequently did a century ago. Concerns about a renewed great game are thus exaggerated. The contest for influence in the region does not directly challenge the vital national interests of China, Russia, or the United States, the most important extraregional countries in Central Asian security affairs. Unless restrained, however, competitive pressures risk impeding opportunities for beneficial cooperation among these countries. The three external great powers have incentives to compete for local allies, energy resources, and military advantage, but they also share substantial interests, especially in reducing terrorism and drug trafficking. If properly aligned, the major multilateral security organizations active in Central Asia could provide opportunities for cooperative diplomacy in a region where bilateral ties traditionally have predominated.
War Good Turns
Turn. Solving Afghanistan causes Central Asian instability.
Cole 10 (Juan, Prof. History – U. Michigan, IndyBay, “Bombing in Lashkar Gah Kills 7; Karzai Cabinet Denounces NATO over Civilian Deaths; Russia wants Heroin Industry Destroyed”, 2010, http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/02/23/18638514.php)
In an interview with Ekho Moskvy Radio on Monday, February 22, 2010, Dimitri Rogozin-- the Russian Federation's permanent representative to NATO- He also said that the scale of drug trafficking did not depend on whether Taleban would strengthen its position in Afghanistan or not, as Taleban's attitude to drugs was "cynical". Rogozin then mentioned "dogs of war" as a second threat to Russia. "That is not Taleban, but fighters drawn in by war from other countries, who arenow boggeddown in the war with the Americans and their allies,but if the war ends, they will look for a use for themselves. There are about three to four thousand well-trained militants who are such crazy citizens. Naturally, if the war ends, they will most probably go to somewhere in Central Asia."