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The Planned TAPI Pipeline Through Afghanistan: Implications for Canada

August 17, 2009

In a previous post I discussed a brief Toronto Star article and much longer report (PDF here) by John Foster, who argues that America plans to turn Afghanistan into an “energy bridge” by helping to build a natural gas pipeline across it. The pipeline, called TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) would carry Turkmen gas through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India, with all three countries drawing supplies proportionate to their needs. America likes the idea because the TAPI pipeline would supplant a rival proposal to pipe Iranian gas to Pakistan and India.

But what are the ramifications for Canada? Foster starts off with the observation that Canadians have been curiously oblivious to the whole issue:

The New Great Game in Central Asia is a geopolitical game among the world’s Great Powers for control of energy resources. The geopolitical game is openly analyzed in U.S. think tanks… It is well reported in the Asian press. It is hardly visible in Canada.

Greater visibility and more public discussion would certainly be nice. As a starting point, some Canadians would probably endorse the US objective of isolating Iran, but many others (including yours truly) simply don’t regard Iran as an enemy. Leaving aside this dubious rationale for supporting TAPI, what are the other implications?

Foster mentions the possibility that Canadian companies might get construction contracts when it’s time to actually build the pipeline, although he doubts that our firms would want to work in such an insecure environment. In his view, a more important consideration is that Canadians might get drawn into protecting the pipeline, especially since it would run through Kandahar Province where our troops are deployed.

However, Foster’s report was published in June 2008, well before the surge of US troops into Afghanistan. Thousands of them are now in Kandahar, whereas our military presence is supposed to end in 2011. By the time there’s a pipeline for the Taliban to sabotage, our fighting days in Afghanistan may be over. Even should we choose to extend the mission in some form, we’ll have some American backup in Kandahar.

It’s also worth remembering that a large part of the Taliban’s motivation for attacking the pipeline would be its value to the Afghan government. Foster mentions a study suggesting that “transit fees” (which I assume means money paid to Afghanistan by the other TAPI governments for the privilege of transporting gas through Afghan territory) could amount to $160 million (US?) per year. This may sound like pocket change by the standards of Canadian federal budgets, but it would be an enormous contribution to Afghanistan’s economy.

TAPI would be bad for Iran, which is a genuine shame, and it might someday get Canadian troops into a few more firefights. But handled properly, it would be very good for Afghanistan, a country we would like to see succeed. Perhaps that’s an adequate reason for Canadians to welcome TAPI – but the main thing is to be aware that the New Great Game is afoot.

Corwin

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. shaikh permalink
    December 10, 2010 10:03 pm

    Liked the article

  2. Giacomo Veteran permalink
    April 1, 2010 7:06 pm

    The Taliban were invited to a BBQ at the so-called Crawford Ranch in the late 1980’s and another in the early 1990’s. G H Walker Bush Sr. was there with his then ‘Alcoholic SON’ named ‘W’ Jr! Wow, what a party dude. Cheney was there flapping his ‘big mouth and all smiles, as he spoke of his role at Halliburton and in Washington DC in the dark hallways and in ‘smoke filled rooms’. Bragging of a day America would have OIL running through IRAQ and Afghanistan and possibly IRAN, if he had anything to do with it!- and more! Going it ALONE in the world and if anyone or any country got in the way, ‘They’d be blown away and back to 1200 BC’, as he threatened Pakistan after 9/11′. The Taliban said, ‘NO to the PIPELINE’s’ and then a few years later ‘W Jr. said, ‘I found GOD’. Hallelua! Jesus! He stole the Presidency using the Supreme Court as Master in Chief and away we go (GORE won the MOST VOTES and we see the ‘system of voting in America is worthless’ and we want to TEACH the world about ‘Democracy?’ lol No, Capitalism. ME ME ME. The strongest and those who know how to outsmart the syetem WIN $$$. Understanding the LOOPHOLES!)….Rumsfeld had meetings (On Video/YouTube) saying, ‘We need another PEARL HARBOR’. Wow! What a prediction (in 2000) and in 2001 we had 9/11 with a whole LOT of unanswered questions. 1. How 3 buildings fortified to withstand a NUKE could come crumbling into ‘FINE DUST IN 7 SECONDS?’ With JET FUEL? A jet went right through the entire building like a knife thru butter?? No way! And why is it thousands of Electrical engineers and Scientists and Physicist’s as well as Architects (studying 9/11 for months) QUESTION THE ENTIRE REPORT THE GOV’T TURNED IN AFTER USING BASIC INFORMATION. Science is science and 3 of the tallest buildings on earth (close to it) came crashing down in SECONDS folks! How!!! We deserve an answer. LOts of people ‘died’ and were ‘murdered’ and lots of money has been stolen, lost and wasted (trillions) As a VETERAN who served his country Proudly I deserve the ‘right and honest answers’. I know, shit man are you Naive! lol It’s NOT FUNNY though. 2. THERMITE was found on the metal they ALLOWED kept for Evidence. Not much either. why 3 pieces? How did Military grade Thermite get on THE METAL FRAMES? Why didnt the gov’t COMMISSION question fire and police HEROES who ‘Heard EXPLOSIONS in the basement and lower levels? (when we question anything we are NOT heroes anymore. Is this Aemrica? It doesn;t look like it anymore! Damn-it. Hundreds of questions went unanswered. why? 3. How did a 3rd building never hit even by a CAR (toyota? accelerating madly? lol) COME CRASHING DOWN INTO ‘FINE DUST IN 6 SECONDS’. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!! Insanity! Then we got screwed out of our 401K plans ‘weird hbuh?’ Funny how that works… while Halliburton, KBR, Exxon, Blackwater (hiring ex-psyche patients who the military didn’t want and giving them weapons? wow! smart assholes. THey made BILLIONS in Profit. Much of the time NOT even doing the job they promised and were paid to do! Where do we sign up? FREE MONEY! NO AUDITS! Fact. How many ‘Civilians have been shot dead for fun?’ (our own troops admitted this). How many Bin Ladens have you CREATED!? Who cares you got your Pipeline’s and OIL and PROFIT and STOLE $3 TRILLION DOLLARS. Wall Street and AIG and others made BILLIONS IN BONUSES WHILE BANKRUPTING AMERICA and their own company (Bonus for what? Failure?). THEN WE BAIL THEM OUT WITH TENS OF BILLIONS OF TAXPAYER MONEY? And they get MORE BONUS MONEY! wow! Have I missed anything? Yeah, lots more..9 years of SHITTING ON US ALL WHILE THE TOP 1% GET FILTHY RICH AND MILLIONS DIE!!! Christ! speaking of GOD, where is this man? Higher Power? Ted Haggard knew him (massage anyone? Crack cocaine?) Evangelical Hypocrit. Jack Abrahmoff knew God (Prison) Bob Ney, Cunningham, Yoo, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, and remember: The GOP/Republican’s had POWER. ALL the power since 1994 through 2008. What did they DO for the American people??????? NADA! Lowered taxes for the RICH! THnaks Tom Delay (The Hammer) Joke! The rich kept it and they DOWNSIZED. Lost millions of jobs. Clinton built 20 Million jobs (even while getting a blow job. ‘W’ you should have gotten one dude…less killing man-relax! Lay back. Ted knows people.)and we had a SURPLUS of Cash in 2000…Bush ran us into DEBT DEBT DEBT and BIGGER GOVERNMENT! A Military out of control as well. Contractors carrying weapons and Evangelicals wanting ‘Police Powers?’. shit man! RUN!!! Bush ‘Paid off every so-called ALLY like Berlesconi and Pakistan with MILLIONS. The Tribal Leaders in Afghanistan got Millions. Called ‘Footballs’. $8 Billion was missing in CASH in the first week of the so-called war! Gone! IRaq Ministers stole Tens of Millions and fled to Paris and Spain building ‘Villa’s. *(see 60 Minutes). Man oh man where do we stop here?? We can’t. It gets worse….1 Million slaughtered in Iraq is the worst. Shame on us! Many shot dead like running rabbits through a field. Our troops admitted to this travesty. Ordered to do it, theyy said? Because they can!? No laws. No rules. Like The WEST in the 1800’s. Dodge city. Gun slingers. I was looking for John Wayne to save us! All the while Bush is USING ‘GOD’..why? Is this a Christian War against Muslim? General’s writing reports and adding BIBLE Passages. wow! $3 Trillion dollars GONE! America bankrupt in so many ways. MOrally. Ethically. We’ve gone absolutely INSANE! I am ashamed. A CIA Agent outed by Karl Rove, Cheney and Libbey. They don’t care guys! I know you’re reading this. You could be next by these idiots. Profiteers! Valerie Plames LIFE was put in danger. By the Vice President of USA! Nuts! How many will die for these ‘Pipeline’s?’ How many WARS will be fought? How many Troops will be killed for OIL? How many years (80 years is the prediction) fighting who next? After that? How many TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN taxpayer money? And who is putting thermite in these buildings crashing down into ‘fine dust?’…REALLY I NEED TO KNOW. J. Veteran, Nato (Concerned world citizen)

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