Thursday, 26 April 2012

Turkmen Gas is the Strategic Prize at Stake in Afghanistan

Turkmenistan, which holds more than 4 percent of the world's natural gas reserves, expects within the next few months to host a new round of talks with participants in the U.S.-backed TAPI project to link Turkmen gas fields with India...
This fact is something Reuters of London fails to link with the fact that there is a war going on in Afghanistan, as if the TAPI Pipeline was wholly divorced from the strategic interests that NATO nations have in being in this benighted land. 
....BP data show Turkmenistan's natural gas reserves equal to those of Saudi Arabia and behind only Russia, Iran and Qatar. The Central Asian state supports the pipeline as part of its plans to diversify sales from Soviet-era master Russia.
It aims to supply natural gas from its Galkynysh field, better known by its previous name, South Iolotan, to Pakistan and India. British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates has said the gas field is the world's second-largest.  
What Reuters fail to mention is that the diversification of supplies away from Russia also has as it's aim the blocking off of the rival proposed Iranian-Pakistan-India (  IPI  ) Pipeline that would deliver gas to energy hungry Pakistan some four times cheaper than TAPI. 
The reality is that NATO is in Afghanistan to provide the security environment for the construction of the pipeline as the failure to achieve this would ensure a decade of war would end with no tangible benefit to the West. 
With Afghanistan linked to other regional economies such as India, Iran can be excluded from expanding its interests in Central Asia and encircled and contained. With major markets in India and China blocked, Iran can be weakened economically along with the sanctions policy and "regime change" promoted.
These are the strategic realities seldom mentioned by politicians when the Afghanistan War is mentioned. Whether the TAPI Pipeline can ever be built, and the stakes are very high, is open to doubt. Yet the fact remains that it is a goal for which British soldiers are dying and in which money is being spent.
It's unlikely that these realities will be openly discussed. Only so much reality can be borne when the reality of conflicts over the supply of resources and the power politics connected with it is understood. And it is not meant to be one the electorates in the West, i.e. the children, are to be informed about.

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