The destabilization of Afghanistan in the wake of the Biden administration’s hasty retreat may lead to some much larger policy problems. In addition to opening the door again to global terrorism operations, the abandonment of the nation to the Taliban sets the stage for a new “gold rush” for the abundance of rare earth metals in the country. Without a U.S. presence in Afghanistan, rare metals that are highly valued for their use in electronic components and green energy are now within reach of other nations in the region. Most notably, analysts expect China to quickly move into the region to seize the precious resources in exchange for a financial influx the Taliban desperately needs. In other words, the Chinese government may have the most to gain from the rise of the Taliban, both economically and geo-politically.
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