Natural Resources in Afghanistan

Natural Resources in Afghanistan

Geographic and Geologic Perspectives on Centuries of Conflict

1st Edition - June 4, 2014

Write a review

  • Author: John Shroder
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128001356
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128005453

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (PDF, Mobi, EPub)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


Natural Resources in Afghanistan: Geographic and Geologic Perspectives on Centuries of Conflict details Afghanistan's physical geography — namely climate, soils, vegetation, water, hazards, and basic geologic background and terrain landforms — together with details of its rich natural resources, ethnic problems, and relevant past histories. The book couples these details with the challenges of environmental degradation and new environmental management and protection, all of which are considered finally in both pessimistic and optimistic modes. The reader comes away with a nuanced understanding of the issues that are likely to have great affect for this pivotal region of the world for decades to come. With an estimated $1-3 trillion dollars of ore in the ground, and multiple cross-reinforcing cancellations of big Asian power machinations (China, India, Iran, Pakistan), Afghanistan has an opportunity to gain more economic independence. At the same time, however, historic forces of negativity also pull it back toward the chaos and uncertainty that has defined the country and constrained its economic progress for decades.

Key Features

  • Authored by the world’s foremost expert on the geology and geomorphology of Afghanistan and its lucrative natural resources
  • Aids in the understanding of the physical environment, natural hazards, climate-change situations, and natural resources in one of the most geographically diverse and dangerous terrains in the world
  • Provides new concepts of resource-corridor development in a country with no indigenous expertise of its resources


Primary audience includes geologists, geomorphologists, and mineralogists. Government and military officials comprise the secondary audience. Others include the United Nations, World Bank, embassy and aid organizations.

Table of Contents

    • Dedication
    • Acknowledgments
    • Foreword
    • Preface
    • List of Acronyms
    • 1. Introduction: Historical Overview of Afghanistan at War
      • Historical Overview
      • Timeline of Wars in Afghanistan
      • Chronology of Events
    • Part I. Overview of the Geology and Geography of Afghanistan
      • Introduction
      • 2. Rock and Landform Jigsaw Puzzles
        • Bedrock Geology, Structure, and Surficial Sediments
        • Geomorphologic Mapping of Afghanistan
      • 3. Terrains of Torment
        • Geomorphologic Subdivision of Afghanistan
        • Transpressional Plate Boundary Geomorphic Region (TPB Region)
        • Accreted Terranes Geomorphic Region (AT Region)
        • Middle Afghanistan Shear Zone Geomorphic Region (MASZ Region)
        • North Afghanistan Platform Geomorphic Region (NAP Region)
      • 4. Soils and Vegetation In extremis
        • Climate
        • Soils
        • Biogeography (Vegetation)
      • 5. Watersheds of Want
        • Hydrologic Cycle in Afghanistan
      • 6. Ethnic Patchworks
      • 7. Silk Road Nexus
        • Roads and Highways
        • Railroads
        • Pipelines
        • Electrical Power Grid
        • Air Transport, Airports and the Afghan Air Force
        • Seaports
        • Coalition Military Supply Routes
      • 8. Hazards and Disasters in Afghanistan
        • Earthquakes
        • Landslides
        • Floods
        • Droughts
        • Sandstorms
        • Extreme Weather Events
        • Climate Change
    • Part II. Introduction to Resources: Bones of Contention or Solutions to Interminable War?
      • Introduction
      • 9. Afghanistan Border Fixing
        • Afghanistan–Central Asian Borders
        • The Afghanistan–Chinese Border
        • Afghanistan–Pakistan Border—The Durand Line
        • Afghanistan–Persian Border
        • Partition of Afghanistan
        • Cases for Partition
        • Cases against Partition
      • 10. Lost Resource Opportunities
      • 11. Discovery of Rich Resources
        • Natural Gas
        • Oil
        • Coal
        • Cement
        • Copper
        • Iron
      • 12. Rich Resource Exploitations, Resource Curses, and Resource Wars
        • Resource Curse
        • Escaping the Resource Curse
        • Resource War
        • Resource Law
        • Aynak Copper
        • Hajigak Iron
        • Gold
        • Rare Metals and Rare Earths
        • Chromite
        • Gemstones
      • 13. Air and Space Technology in Resource Delineation: Peace and War
      • 14. Resource Rushes in Afghanistan
        • Military Nation Building in Afghanistan
        • Task Force for Business and Stability Operations
        • Mineral Bidding Packages
        • Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
        • Neighboring Countries Desiring Access to Resources
      • 15. Resource Corridors
        • Northern Hydrocarbons Resource Corridor Segment
        • Southeast Copper Resource Corridor Segment
        • Cross Hindu Kush Resource Corridor Segment
        • Steel and Energy Resource Corridor Link Segment
        • Southeast Extension
        • Southwest Extension
        • Northwest Extension
    • Part III. Overview of Environment and Development of Afghanistan
      • Introduction
      • 16. Afghanistan Environment and Development Issues
        • Land
        • Water
        • Extractive Mineral Resources
      • 17. Afghanistan Environmental Degradation
        • Water Diminution and Contamination
        • Soil Salinization from Irrigation
        • Soil Erosion (Sheet Erosion, Soil Landslides, Deflation)
        • Overgrazing Rangeland Degradation
        • Deforestation
        • Dearbification or “Deshrubification”
        • Biodiversity, Habitat Loss, and Protected Areas
        • Desertification
        • Pollution and Environmental Health (Urban and Industrial Pollution)
        • Residuals of Warfare
        • Conclusion
      • 18. Afghanistan Environmental Protection
        • Pillar 1: Environmental Institutions and Coordination
        • Pillar 2: Environmental Law and Policy
        • Pillar 3: Environmental Impact Assessment
        • Pillar 4: Environmental Information and Assessment
        • Pillar 5: Community-based Natural Resource Management
        • Equator Principles
      • 19. Afghanistan Water and Climate Change
        • Kabul be-zar bashad, be-barf ne-bashad!
    • Part IV. Afghanistan in Future
      • Introduction
        • Overview
      • 20. Pessimistic Scenarios: Incessant War in Afghanistan
        • Pashtun Cultural Characteristics
        • Neo-environmental Determinism
        • Charismatic Mullah Movements
        • Ethnic Patchworks
        • Foreign Invaders
        • Corruption
        • Afghan Xenophobia
        • Land-Ownership Disputes
        • Endless Jihad
        • Illiteracy
        • Drug Cultures
        • Purdah Culture
        • Promotion of Peace
        • Future Guides from Past Performance
      • 21. Optimistic Scenarios: Successful Resource Corridors
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 592
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2014
  • Published: June 4, 2014
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128001356
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128005453

About the Author

John Shroder

John Shroder
John (Jack) F. Shroder graduated from Union College’s Geology Program in 1961, received a Masters degree at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 1963, and a doctorate at the University of Utah in 1967. His first academic job was two years at the University of Malawi in Africa, before he joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in 1969, where he remained for most of the next four decades. In the late 1970s he also spent several years on an NSF grant and a Fulbright at Kabul University in Afghanistan and then in 1983-84 he had another Fulbright to Peshawar University in Pakistan. These experiences led to many years of research in the Hindu Kush and western Himalaya which continued through a host of grants and the thick and thin of the interminable war years and terrorist threats over there. Finally in the post 9/11 world, the difficulties of dealing with the increasing terrorism and avoidance of problems in the field forced a cessation of further work in those difficult countries. Also the declining US economy led to so many other problems at UNO that in summer of 2011, Dr. Shroder stopped teaching his required geology major courses and attempted to retire to his and his wife Susie’s new house in Crested Butte, Colorado. This lasted barely a month before UNO pressured him to return at a vastly reduced part-time salary to once again cover his geomorphology class for the fall semester, 2011. But in the interim, Jack had begun a new editing career for the Elsevier publishing company so that he was spending more of his time producing new volumes of work in geomorphology and hazards analysis. With 30 volumes written or edited by 2012, and 9 more deep into the planning stages, the future of such work for him in his retirement years seems certain. These books go together with the more than 150 other scientific papers he is continuing to publish. Dr. Shroder is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Board of Trustees of the Foundation of the Geological Society of America also asked Jack to join them for the next six years as well, so his deep interests in geology will be maintained. The Association of American Geographers has given Dr. Shroder distinguished career awards twice, once for their Mountain Specialty Group in 2001, and again for their Geomorphology Specialty Group in 2010.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Geography and Geology, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, USA

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "Natural Resources in Afghanistan"