Pierrepont Johnson III: Afghanistan has a unique opportunity, though one that comes with its own risks – the country’s $3 trillion worth of mining deposits. To date, efforts to harvest Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which exceeds the GDP of Great Britain, Italy, or India, have largely failed. The threat of the Taliban and extortion from militias, infrastructure deficits, and high mining fees have made investments in Afghanistan’s 1,400 mining fields an unprofitable venture. Prior to the Soviet invasion in 1977, Afghanistan was a relatively prosperous country, with a rich history and culture. The country has since suffered largely due to de facto foreign rule, from the end of the Cold War to the US-led War in Afghanistan. Today, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Click here to read more (external link).