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The pipeline through Afghanistan and the war


Project: History of US Interventions

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       Unocal begins negotiations with Taliban over a pipeline deal through Afghanistan to Pakistan. [Rense 12/30/02]

October 1995

       US energy company Unocal signs deal with Turkmenistan over development of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan. [Unocal, 8/13/96]

March 1996

       US Senator Hank Brown visits several cities in Afghanistan and meets with Taliban officials. He invites them to send delegates to a Unocal-funded conference on Afghanistan in the US. [New York Times, 6/5/1997]

October 1997

       Unocal and other oil companies form Central Asia Gas Pipeline, Ltd. (CentGas) in preparation for building the trans-Afghanistan pipeline. [Unocal 10/27/97]

December 1998

       Pipeline project delayed due to Afghanistan's continuing civil war, and Unocal withdraws from the project. [US Department of Energy, 10/2002]

May 2000

       The CIA begins operating in Afghanistan [The Washington Post, 11/18/2001]

February 2001

       Upon taking office, the Bush administration immediately begins negotiations with the Taliban over the pipeline. [The Washington Post, 1/20/02]

July 2001

       Washington tells India that US troops will be in Afghanistan "before the snow falls" - this deadline is then met thanks to the Sept. 11 attacks two months later. [BBC, 9/18/01; 8/5/02]

August 2001

       The last secret meeting between US officials and the Taliban is held, in a last ditch attempt to secure a pipeline deal. Talks break off, with the US allegedy delivering a final ultimatum of 'accept our carpet of gold (oil pipeline), or you will receive a carpet of bombs'. While some question whether this was in fact said (see article), the point is that talks which had been talking place for months over a pipeline deal in Afghanistan finally broke down. [Salon, 8/16/02]

October 2001

       September 11th attacks give US excuse to declare war on Afghanistan. Mainstream media attempts to quash any theories that the war might be related to desires for a pipeline in Afghanistan. [BBC 10/29/01]

January 1, 2002

       Former Unocal consultant Zalmay Khalilzad appointed as new US special envoy to Afghanistan. [Independent, 1/10/02; 1/1/02]

May 2002

       The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan agree to the construction of a $2bn pipeline to bring gas from Central Asia to the sub-continent. [BBC, 5/30/02]

December 2002

       Deal signed to build gas pipeline across Afghanistan. [BBC article]

December 2002

       White House announces 10 new bases in Afghanistan 'in hopes of boosting reconstruction efforts and regional security', whose locations coincide with the route proposed by Unocal in 1998 for a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. [Boston Globe 12/2002]

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