"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer traveling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." EmersonMore and more evidence, if more were needed, that the construction of the TAPI pipeline is the central objective of the Afghanistan War exists for those who are prepared to put two and two together to make four instead of five as most windbag columnists in the mainstream media are willing to do.
The Economic Times of India reported on , TAPI to bring significant economic benefit to the region: US.
US has welcomed the proposal of tran-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAPI), running through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - saying that this would bring significant economic and political benefit to the region.Not one peep has been heard in the British press as to the real reason why British troops are dying in Helmland nor what has been at stake. Yet in most economic newspapers or energy industry information outlets it has been reported for a long time.
If realized, the "TAPI pipeline could bring significant economic and political benefits to the region," a senior Administration official told PTI.
The official was responding to questions on news reports that leaders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan would meet in New York next month to discuss TAPI project, to which the countries of the region have agreed to.
Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, said in Kabul this week that he would meet his Turkmenistan counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session to discuss the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline.
The official, however, said US is not aware of the details of the agreement.
"We understand that there are many issues that need to be addressed before the project can be implemented," the official said.
First proposed in 1995, it was originally called TAP or Trans-Afghan Pipeline but with Pakistan and India now involved it was renamed TAPI.
The gas pipeline would stretch 1,043 miles from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad gas field to the northwestern Indian town of Fazilka.
The USD 3.3 billion pipeline's annual throughput of 33 billion cubic metres will be delivered to consumers in Pakistan and India after transiting Afghanistan.
The project is expected to generate revenue to Afghanistan.
Despite the fact that security in Afghanistan has been a key deterrent for the project to take off, US has been supportive of the project, as this would bring much needed revenue to Afghanistan.
Simultaneously, the US has been opposed to the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, as such a project, it believes, would help Iran economically.
Yet here in the Economic Times reporting it as clearly as day as established fact whilst this is not considered worthy of news. There is little hope if no politician nor leading journalist is prepared to discuss what is really at stake in Afghanistan.
The absurdity of this revolves around why, if at all, the government in Britain, all politicians in Parliament and mainstream media commentators simply never admit the centrality of the TAPI. Why is sending troops out to die for a pipeline not considered good for people to know ?
It is simply common knowledge in India that one of the key objectives of the Afghanistan War is concerned with the TAPI pipeline, not just as a means of controlling Turkmenistan's gas and diversification of pipeline routes but also as a way of isolating and containing Iran's interests.
Naturally, the claim of the US spokesman that the US does not know the details of the agreement is mendacious as they have known since the 2008 Asian Bank agreement to fund the TAPI pipeline that it will be built when the area is finally secured.
That is, if southern Afghanistan is secured. Yet that the TAPI is central to the reason why Afghanistan is still being fought can no longer be in doubt. Then again it has been known for a long time
Yet that is only clear with virtually no Al Qaida left in Afghanistan and the illogicality of the official versions of truth put out by the British government that Afghanistan is about helping Afghanistan's women, despite Karzai's regime supporting the right of men to rape their wives.
After all as the Turkmenistan.ru reported, the TAPI gas pipeline has been designed by British company Penspen, so obviously British companies are benefiting from the business of war of "enlightened self interest" and "liberal intervention".
The usual retort that the pipeline was first mooted back in the 1990s with the Taliban in power is often held up as a weak argument that the USA did not invade Afghanistan only to build a pipeline, which misses the point completely.
the USA did not invade Afghanistan only to secure a pipeline but the prospect of a pipeline was a central part of consolidating its geopolitical ambition in Central Asia as well as securing the country against what was believed to be the threat of Al Qaida post 9/11 2001.
The problem is that whenever the TAPI pipeline is mentioned it is supposed that it is an attempt to demean the possible idealism of those wanting the Afghan people to have a better life, even if that somehow coincides with Western energy interests.
The assumption is that only paranoid "Marxoid" left wingers who just hate the USA more than they do the Taliban could conceivably hold to such a view when, in fact, it has nothing to do with being some sneering Leninist bitter at the defeat of the Soviet Union there by 1989.
That is not to say that such types do not exist: Seumas Milne, one time editor of The Guardian who refers to the Taliban as a "resistance" movement, as if these psychopathic thugs were somehow heroic, is the epitomy of such a person who gets a thrill from the West "losing".
The reality remains though that the TAPI is the one persistent geopolitical objective that the NATO forces are there to procure, having invested billions of dollars and men in the occupation it would be humiliating to pull out without having achieved anything.
The fact remains though that the war in Afghanistan is not winnable for a number of reasons, most obviously the sheer demand for drugs such as opium negating any such attempt to suppress the opium crop: the higher prices and demand will always make it lucrative.
This is precisely why the TAPI is seen as all the more crucial in bringing investment into what has been termed a "failed state" but which will never be able to replace the money made by poor opium farmers as it would only put money and power in the hands of the powerful.
As the New Europe Journal reported on August 22 2010 ( TAPI pipeline across Afghanistan gains momentum ),
.....the ever-warring Afghanistan is a link in the chain of this transnational project. To it, TAPI could mean five billion cubic meters of gas for internal needs and $300 million of transit profits. That, in turn, could create certain employment and source-of-income opportunities for Afghanistan’s eleven million unemployed.There can be no more denial of the importance of the TAPI pipeline. But only greater discussion as to the continuation of a war based on contradictory objectives, where the War on Drugs ensures that the idea that the TAPI project will cancel out drug cultivation is a delusion.
There are two important “buts” in the TAPI project, though: the unstable situation in Afghanistan and the complex Pakistan-India relationship. These “buts”, however, are counterbalanced by just as weighty arguments.
The richness of Afghanistan resources is a known fact today. These riches can completely cross out the country’s “drug specialization” and provide huge profits to investors from totally peaceful businesses.
Speaking at the Kabul International Conference on Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the country’s explored natural resources alone were estimated at $3 trillion.
In his bilateral meeting in Kabul with the OSCE Chair-in-Office, State Secretary and Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kanat Saudabayev, Karzai noted Kazakhstan’s experience in exploration and transport of resources, especially in the oil and gas sector, was very important for his country.
The second “but” is the Pakistan-India relationship. But here, too, experts believe, a compromise can be found, driven by a future energy hunger.
Also, Afghanistan’s important partner, the United States, is supporting TAPI, and the Asian Bank of Development is willing to fund the project. It is no coincidence that straight after his visit to Astana earlier this summer, US Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar flew to Ashgabat.
In a meeting with the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the White House’s envoy said that the US was ready to provide extensive support to Turkmenistan’s planned major energy projects.
The high US official also had a number of meetings at the Ministry of Oil and Gas Industry and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan, the State Agency for Managing and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources, and at the state concern Turkmengas.
No sooner had Morningstar left for home, the technical group of this grandiose project held its regular meeting in the Turkmen capital.
The Turkmenistan newspaper reported in this connection that the meeting “discussed a number of specific technical aspects of implementation of the earlier agreements, to step up the joint activities.”
The article emphasized once again that all the four countries would benefit from the project: Turkmenistan – as the supplier of gas, Pakistan and India – for their economies’ energy needs, and Afghanistan – as a consumer and transit state.
The Turkmen paper referred to the TAPI project none other than “a new grandiose energy bridge of global importance.”