Mongolia is one among a small handful of places left in the world with major untouched mineral deposits. But investing successfully in its mining industry demands more than just money and a willingness to take risks; it requires understanding the country's vulnerable geography and byzantine political environment.
Until recently, serious talk about an Afghan economy based on natural resources seemed premature. But as Kabul has just inked two major deals and NATO continues its drawdown, the risk is rising that Afghanistan will squander its most promising prospect for development.
Forty years ago, the Club of Rome produced a best-selling report warning humanity that its escalating wants were on a collision course with the world’s finite resources and that the only way to avoid a crash was to stop chasing economic growth. The predictions proved spectacularly wrong. But the environmental alarmism they engendered persists, making it harder for policymakers to respond rationally to real problems today.