Trump ready to make Afghan coal great again

In a deal designed to breathe life into a dying industry, US companies are working out a new deal to mine coal. In Afghanistan.

We’ve all seen the red hat, perched on its orange nest like a flightless bird forever embittered by its lack of wings.

We call it the MAGA, and its purpose in life?

Tell all the other birds how great it is.

And it’s going to take the other birds by the wing and lead them to greatness, too.

The man beneath the hat speaks.

He’s ready. Ready to make the country great again. And he’s starting with coal.

Afghan coal.

Because the path to American mining jobs runs through Kabul. Or at least it will if American companies working with the Afghan government have their way. Those companies are trying to put together deals that could mean US jobs, just not jobs in the US.

As envisioned, the Afghan government would invite companies to bring mining expertise, equipment, logistics and security to Afghanistan to help extract coal and fuel what would be the country’s only large-scale, coal-fired power plant, hopefully within one to two years.

Coal’s the gateway mineral in Afghanistan, which reportedly has untapped reserves of significant monetary value sitting below its surface.

The goal isn’t just to get the coal, but the other stuff underground that could mean a lot more money for American businesses if they manage to get it out of the country. Which has proven to be challenging for China as it’s tried for years to run a copper mine at Mes Aynak.

Another reason to start with coal is that in order to make money off it, you’ve got to mine it in bulk. Which, according to the article, is one of the reasons why the Afghan government is sensitive about giving the rights to a foreign company to mine something like gold.

The irony is that if this all works out, and that’s an if that’s way bigger than everyone’s hands, not just the President’s, this could make Afghanistan great again. And could revive an industry overseas that’s nearly dead in the United States.

So by working with a foreign power Trump might succeed where others have failed.

And that’s…well…sad.

Quick note: if you’re curious at all about extractives in Afghanistan or the future of foreign investment there, do yourself a favor and put the VOA article in your reading list. Covers a lot of ground, and worth your time.