Afghanistan has a vast untouched wealth of minerals, including lithium, the silvery metal used in mobile phone and computer batteries considered essential to modern life. (AP/Rahmat Gul)

US to Extract Minerals From Afghanistan to ‘Defray Cost of US Assistance’

The U.S. military has had its eyes on Afghan mineral deposits for some time. A 2007 Pentagon memo that the New York Times quoted in a 2010 article says that Afghanistan could be the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.”