Chapter 2: The New Great Game : how the US, China and Russia are competing for hegemony through control of energy reserves and export routes

Part I : From Macedonia to Afghanistan and Chechnya

Brzezinski map of pipeline routes
Map of proposed pipeline routes from Chapter 5 (page 146) of Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard". To view it on a larger scale click here



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The Oil Rush in the Caspian and former Soviet Union

In 1998 Dick Cheney expressed the common thought of most governments and oil companies - "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian"(25). Competition among companies for Caspian and central Eurasian oil has been intense since the break up of the the Soviet Union in 1991 - as has competition among governments to install their own clients or allies as rulers to ensure contracts go to companies based in their countries. By 1997 President Carter's former National Security Adviser wrote in his book "The Grand Chessboard" of the need for the U.S to control Eurasian energy reserves in order to maintain it's global predominance. The nineteenth century "Great Game" for control of central Asia played by the Russian and British Empires had been revived, but now with many more players, the most influential being the Russian, American and Chinese governments and their allies.

Since oil companies donate generously to politicians' election campaign funds and benefit from their governments' political influence the profit and power motives are not in conflict. In the case of the Bush administration many of its members are former Chief Executives or directors of those oil companies.

One of the first major post-Cold war Caspian oil deals came in 1993 when the American firm Chevron negotiated drilling rights in the Tengiz oilfield in the Caspian sea with the government of Kazakhstan Chevron donated $200,000 to Bush's 2000 Presidential campaign. Chevron's operations in Kazakhstan have since expanded in partnership with Exxon-Mobil, who also continue to make large donations to Republican party candidates, with a smaller side-bet on the Democrats (26), (27), (28) , (29). Condoleeza Rice was on Chevron's Board of Directors from 1993 until she was appointed Bush's National Security Adviser in January 2001 (and is now US Secretary of State) (30). (Texaco , which also had contracts in Kazakhstan merged with Chevron just before the October 2001 war on Afghanistan began, giving Chevron-Texaco a 45% share of the Tengiz oilfield)

By 1996 B.P, Mobil, Shell and Total were carrying out seismic surveyrs in Kazakhstan, which was thought to potentially have oil reserves as large as Saudi Arabia (31).

Oil services firm Halliburton has had contracts woking with oil companies in Kazakhstan since at least 1992 (32). Halliburton's chief executive from 1995 to January 2001 was Dick Cheney - now Bush's Vice President. He still owns tens of millions of dollars worth of Halliburton stock and recieves annual "deferred" payments from the company, which has been granted non-tendered contracts in Iraq by the administration (33), (34). Halliburton donated generously to Republican election campaigns (35).(In 2002 30,000 seals washed up dead on the shores of the Caspian. By 2004 around a hundred Kazakh dead former employees of the oil firms in Kazakhstan were found by autopsies to have died of hydrogen sulphide poisoning (likely from natural gas released by drilling). Many more were fired after developing illnesses probably due to the same cause (36).)

Turkmenistan, which borders both Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, was estimated to have the fifth largest natural gas reserves in the world in 1996 (37). In 1995 an oil and gas deal had been negotiated between the government of Turkmenistan and the Centgas consortium - which included Unocal oil of California , Delta of Saudi Arabia and Pakistani companies. These companies came from the same three countries - the US, Saudi and Pakistan - who had backed first the Mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 80s and then the Taliban from the mid-90s (38) (also see next page). (Halliburton has also been operating in Turkmenistan from at least 1997 (39).)

To get really big profits though would require getting all this oil and gas to where there was the biggest deamnd for it - Europe and North America, as well as the rapidly growing market in the Far East. To do that would require at least two export pipelines. At the same time Russia's , China's and Iran's governments wanted the oil revenues, economic growth and the political influence that would come from controlling pipeline routes and profits for their companies just as much as American and European governments did. They're still competing over who controls the routes.

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The Baku-Ceyan and Chechnya/Dagestan pipelines

The first major pipeline route backed the US-EU alliance went West from Baku in Azerbaijan on the Caspian through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey - a NATO member.

Getting control of Caspian oil from Russia was also a key strategic aim for Germany in World War Two as one means to the end of global domination . Hitler told one of his Field Marshalls "Unless we get the Baku oil the war is lost" (40). The current situation is not of course identical. The Georgian and Azerbaijani governments and the majority of their populations welcome any links to the US that will prevent them being dominated by Russia - just as separatists in those countries welcome Russian troops guaranteeing their independence from Georgia and Azerbaijan.

The Baku-Ceyan pipeline route planned in the 90s would avoid Iran and the Russian Federation, fulfilling US strategic aims 'to break Russia's monopoly control over the transportation of oil from that region and ... promote western energy security through diversification of supply' as US National Security Council adviser Shiela Heslin put it in 1997(41). In 1994 the Azerbaijan International Oil Consortium (AIOC) - a consortium led by British Petroleum and including UNOCAL of California and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia - signed an $8bn oil deal with President Aliyev of Azerbaijan , who had come to power in a military coup the previous year. Russia's government has responded by by arming Armenian and Georgian separatists, including stoking the old conflict between Azerbaijan and nieghbouring Armenia over the Ngorno-Karabak region. They also stationed large numbers of troops in military bases inside these countries, some only miles from American ones established with similar motives (42), (43), (44), (45). So Aliyev and the AIOC then agreed to a 'dual pipeline' solution ; Half the output would go via the Russian Federation , with the rest exported on the Baku-Ceyhan route(46). AIOC also proposed a Baku-Vlore route - a 'Bosphorous bypass ' which ' traverses the route between Burgas, Bulgaria and Vlore, Albania' (47). So it would cross Macedonia - where , as Professor Michael Chossuduvsky has shown , the US state department has employed private companies as fronts to finance , train and arm both sides in the conflict between the Macedonian government and the National Liberation Army. One such company is Military Personnel and Resources Incorporated - which has links to the Pentagon and Colin Powell. Another is Brown and Root Services - a subsidiary of Halliburton Oil - of which Dick Cheney is former CEO. The NLA are aided by the Kosovo Liberation Army - who have been trained and armed by the CIA(48), (49). By dividing Macedonia and establishing a NATO peacekeeping force there the US government has secured the AIOC's Bosphorus Bypass route. As U.S forces attacked Afghanistan in late 2001 Russia's government stepped up support to separatists in Abkhazia, a province of Georgia. Despite this the Baku-Ceyan pipeline was opened in May 2005 (50). This suggests more similarity between Clinton's and Bush's foreign policies than is usually supposed.

The 'bypass route' pipeline to Vlore has still not been built, with two other pipeline routes through the Balkans also under consideration.<

The US responded to Russia's actions by aiding rebels in Chechnya, a republic of the Russian federation which was also the route for an oil pipeline from the Caspian to Moscow. Chechnya was prevented by Russian forces from becoming an independent state because of the major oil and gas pipeline passing through Chechnya - and the potential for big profits if the AIOC consortium or the consortium of companies operating on the Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan could be persuaded to route their pipeline through Russia - something the US government was determined to prevent(51). (By 2000 the Russian government had built a pipeline through neighbouring Dagestan, another republic of the Russian Federation, to avoid the Chechen civil war and rebel attacks on the Chechnya pipeline. This wasn't a solution as the war spilled over into Dagestan. (52))

According to journalist Lutz Kleveman the US ambassador to Azerbaijan, Ross Wilson, told him that Russia's government had destabilised Georgia and the rest of the Southern Caucasus on the route of the AIOC pipeline to try to prevent it going ahead. He then said "Then Moscow got a little problem called Chechnya, now the Russians have become a bit more cautious" (53). This seems to imply that after Russian forces armed and aided separatists in countries seeking oil pipeline deals with the US (especially Georgia and Azerbaijan) the US aided separatists in Chechnya who want independence from the Russian federation. One group operating from the Pankisi gorge in Georgia in the past. In 2002 the Russian government threatened to vote against UN resolution 1441 on Iraq if the raids didn't end. The rebels left the area - suggesting they were indeed controlled or influenced by the U.S government. Russia's UN representative then voted for the resolution (54). So torture and massacres of civilians in Chechnya by Russian forces were condemned before September 11th, but like the equally brutal war in Afghanistan, the war in Chechnya was rebranded as part of the "war on terrorism" after September 11th.

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The Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline plans

The second planned pipeline export route, which was from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to the port of Karachi in Pakistan - or possibly also to India, made control of Afghanistan a strategic prize. Afghanistan has only small oil reserves but Northern Afghanistan has large natural gas reserves and also provides a potential route to export gas from Turkmenistan to the ports of Pakistan or to the growing market in India (55), (56).

The route through Afghanistan to the ports of Pakistan is particularly important to US firms wanting to be able to sell oil at a profit to the rapidly expanding markets in China, Japan and South Korea. As John J Maresca, an executive of UNOCAL oil explained in testimony to congress in 1998 "The route through Afghanistan is the one that would bring Central Asian oil closest to Asian markets and thus would be the cheapest in terms of transporting the oil."(57).

There were two problems - first the Afghan civil war. UNOCAL sought to end this problem by lobbying the Clinton administration (which also wanted the pipeline for strategic reasons to avoid Russia and Iran - as with Baku-Ceyan) (58). The Clinton administration obliged by tacitly approving Saudi financial aid to the Taliban - along with Pakistan's ISI military intelligence's provision of arms, training and ISI-trained Pakistani jihadist volunteers to fight alongside the Taliban (59), (60), (61), (62). The administration also called for the international community not to isolate the Taliban and even lifted a ban on arms sales to Pakistan and approved hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms sales, despite knowing some of these arms would be used by the Taliban and their Pakistani allies in Afghanistan (63), (64). The US ambassador to Pakistan welcomed the Taliban's capture of Kabul, saying the plan was that the Taliban would develop "like the Saudis" and "we could live with that". Zalmay Khalilzad, a member of UNOCAL's advisory board and later to be US ambassador to Afghanistan and then Iraq, similarly described the Taliban's brand of Islamic fundamentalism as "not anti-American" like Iran's but more like the Saudi brand (65), (66).

According to intelligence expert Selig Harrison of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, speaking to a conference in Spring 2001, the CIA co-operated with Pakistan's ISI military intelligence to arm, train and fund the Taliban just as they had aided the Mujahedin in the 1980s (67). Osama Bin Laden has been quoted as saying (about his operations in Afghanistan in the 1980s during the Soviet occupation) "I settled in Pakistan in the Afghan border region. There I recieved volunteers [from Arab and Muslim countries]...these volunteers were trained by Pakistani and American officers. The weapons were supplied by the Americans, the money by the Saudis" (68). Both Bin Laden and the CIA have since been keen to deny any association, both claiming Bin Laden's funds came solely from the Saudi government or donations by Saudis to religious charities. There is no dispute though that the US, Saudi and Pakistan governments and intelligence agencies backed the Mujahedin in the 1980s and the Taliban in through much of the 1990s - and it seems likely that in both cases the use of the Saudis and Pakistan's ISI military intelligence as proxies gave the CIA plausible deniability for its own involvement.

There were still problems for UNOCAL and the US-Pakistan-Saudi alliance though. The Taliban couldn't win a decisive victory in the North and even moderates among the southern Pashtuns began to oppose them. Yet the Taliban refused to form a coalition government so there was no prospect of a stable government recognised by the US government. This meant that the World Bank couldnt legally provide loans for economic projects in Afghanistan. Private investors wouldnt invest in such a risky project so without US government recognition of a new Afghan government the pipeline project wouldn't be financially viable (69) , (70). An offer made by UNOCAL in 1996 of separate pipeline deals with every Afghan faction was rejected by the Taliban as they wanted to be recognised as the government of Afghanistan (71). In October 1997 an offer made to the Taliban by the governments of Pakistan and Turkmenistan along with UNOCAL of a transfer payment rate of 15 cents per 1,000 cubit feet of gas passing through their territory was also rejected as too low (72). The second problem arrived with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by Al Qa'ida - which killed hundreds of civilians including dozens of Americans - and the Taliban's continued refusal to hand over Bin Laden to the US.

The Centgas consortium including UNOCAL gave up on the pipeline project in October 1998, a UNOCAL spokesman explaining that "construction of the pipeline cannot begin until a recognised government is in place in Kabul that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company." (73). These problems all combined to move the Clinton administration from supporting the Taliban to imposing sanctions on them. US , Pakistan and Saudi government support for the Taliban had been almost as important in getting the Taliban into power as it was in aiding their mujahedin fore-runners to defeat the Soviet backed Communist government and Soviet occupation in the 80s. The motive in the 80s was to weaken the Soviets and head off fears that they might push on south, getting greater access to Middle Eastern oil and ports. The motive in the 90s was to weaken Shia Iran's influence by backing the Sunni Taliban and to ensure US firms got access to oil and gas from the former Soviet republics despite Russian opposition.

After the 2001 invasion it might have been hoped that a government that could get the "confidence" of governments and investors would exist. The US ambassador to Afghanistan from 2002 to 2007 was Zalmay Khalilzad, a PNAC signatory who had done survey work on contract for UNOCAL and had discussed the pipeline project with the Taliban in the 1990s (74). President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan signed a deal with the governments of Pakistan and Turkmenistan on building a pipeline through the three countries (75). However so far any pipeline continues to be unviable due to the continuing war in Afghanistan discouraging companies and investors from taking the risk. (In August 2007 there were media reports of Pakistan's government giving the TAP pipeline contract to US firm but these may not be accurate - see (76) ) This does not mean that the US government and US firms no longer have any interest in creating such a pipeline route. Opinions may differ over whether getting rid of the Taliban's provision of a base for Al Qa'ida or building a pipeline is the more important motive in the minds of US government officials. The fact that no similar action has been taken against Pakistan, whose military and military intelligence, including President (and former General) Musharraf, have a long history of arming and training Islamic jihadist terrorists in both Afghanistan and Kashmir (including many responsible for suicide bombings against civilians in India) should give pause for thought to those who believe the war is about opposing terrorism or promoting democracy though (77), (78). Musharraf's decade old military dictatorship has been consistently rewarded with increasing US military aid. In October 2001 Musharraf was warning the United Front (or Northern Alliance) enemies of the Taliban in Afghanistan not to try to take too much advantage of the US campaign against the Taliban - and asking the US to end its airstrikes against the Taliban quickly (79).

It has been suggested that a pipeline through Afghanistan could provide an export route not only for oil and gas from Turkmenistan but also from Kazakhstan which has much larger established reserves in the Caspian and where several US and European firms including Exxon-Mobil and Halliburton have been operating for many years (80). An alternative pipeline route following more or less the AIOC route is under construction but European governments have shown less interest in it than the US government has and it may face similar problems to one through Afghanistan if the territorial dispoures between Georgia and Armenia begin again or are fomented by rivalry between Russia and the US again (81).

Much as with Russian forces in Chechnya torture by US forces and their allies in Afghanistan has been systematic, sometimes involving beating people to death. In 2007 NATO forces bombing killed more civilians than the Taliban. Both torture and heavy civilian casualties from bombing echo the tactics used by the Soviets in their occupation of the country (82), (83), (84), (85), (86), (87). Of course the Taliban and some Islamic separatists in Chechnya also brutally torture people and target civilians in suicide bombings but the "patriotic" portrayals of these wars as for democracy and human rights and against terrorism by the British and American media (on Afghanistan) and the Russian media (on Chechnya) are far from the truth.

Since the plan to build the Afghanistan pipeline began long before September 11th in the 1990s that atrocity can't be used as an excuse either, even for those confused enough to believe one atrocity against uninvolved civilians could justify another. The pipeline is unlikely to be the only motive for U.S and NATO intervention. Other motives certainly include preventing a government in Afghanistan that would allow Al Qaeda camps in its territory (though the continuing civil war hardly prevents that) and the wish to maintain military bases across the Caspian region to control oil and gas supplies. The mountainous terrain of the country and the limits on the ability of any government to control its border areas make control of the Afghan government itself of limited importance unless it can secure the loyalty of the majority of Afghans. At the moment the situation has some similarities to the Soviet occupation - the major cities are pro-government, the rest of the country is not.

Much of the above (and the separate section going into more depth on tacit US support for the Taliban to try to secure an Afghan pipeline) also shows US foreign policy motives and methods have remained remarkably consistent whether the President was a Democrat (Bill Clinton) or a Republican (Presidents George W. H and George W. Bush). That should give pause for thought to those who think another Clinton in the Whitehouse would make a big difference.

copyright © Duncan Malcolm McFarlane 2008

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To read more about the plans for the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline in the mid-90s and how they involved initial US and Pakistani government support for the Taliban click here (not finished or uploaded yet)

To read about the common motives for the invasion of Afghanistan and expanding the "war on terror" to Iraq, Iran and Somalia click here

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(24) = Lyman, Robert (2006) 'Iraq 1941 : The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad', Osprey Publishing , Oxford(UK), 2006, page 7-8,M1

(25) = See (3) above

(26) = Washington Post 7 Apr 1993 , 'Chevron Sets Deal to Develop Big Oil Field in Kazakhstan',

(27) = FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE RESEARCH & ANALYTICAL PAPERS MAY 2000, 'Kazakhstan's Regions', page 17-18 ,,0.pdf

(28) = International Herald Tribune 21 Sep 2007, 'Kazakh president backs Chevron oil venture',

(29) = Center for Responsive Politics, Oil & Gas: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates and Parties,

(30) = New York Times 8 May 2007 , 'Chevron Seen Settling Case on Iraq Oil', (see 17th paragraph)

(31) = Telegraph 11 October 1996, 'Warring nation holds key to oil riches of Central Asia'

(32) = Halliburton press release 17 Jun 2002, 'HALLIBURTON AWARDED INTEGRATED DRILLING SERVICES CONTRACT VALUED AT $120 MILLION - Agip KCO extends Halliburton contract by two years', (see third paragraph)

(33) = CBS News 26 Sep 2003, 'Cheney's Halliburton Ties Remain Contrary To Veep's Claims, Researchers Say Financial Links Remain'

(34) = BBC News 8 Sep 2004, 'Halliburton may ditch Iraq deal',

(35) = Center for Responsive Politics, Oil & Gas: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates and Parties,

(36) = Alexander's Oil and Gas Connections (citing Moscow Times) 21 July 2004 'The losing side of the Kazakhstan oil boom',

(37) =

(38) = Rashid , Ahmed (2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 - chapter 12

(39) = Halliburton press release 27 Oct 1997 'Halliburton Alliance Awarded Integrated Service Contract Offshore Caspian Sea In Turkmenistan',

(40) = Yergin, Daniel (1992) , 'The Prize : The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power', Simon & Schuster 1992 p337 (cited in Klevemen, Lutz (2004) 'The New Great Game : Blood and Oil in Central Asia' , Atlantic Books 2004 paperback edition, p18)

(41) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 - p174

(42) = Guardian 24 Oct 2001, ‘Route to riches’,,1361,579401,00.html (Afghanistan has huge strategic importance for the west as a corridor to the untapped fuel reserves in central Asia, reports Andy Rowell)

(43) = BBC News 23 July 1998, 'UK firms strike Azerbaijan oil deal',

(44) = Telegraph 21 July 1998 'Oil Deal Key to security in Azerbaijan'

(45) = Klevemen, Lutz (2004) 'The New Great Game : Blood and Oil in Central Asia' , Atlantic Books 2004 paperback edition, pages 11-31

(46) = Caspian Crossroads Magazine Volume 1, Issue No. 3 Summer - Fall 1995, 'Which Way Will Azerbaijan's Oil Flow? The Pipeline Debate Continues', by Laurent Ruseckas ,

(47) = Caspian Crossroads Magazine Volume 2, Issue No.3, Winter 1997, 'Interview with Greg Rich of Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC)' ,by Jayhun Mollazade , , and ,

(48) = Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottowa, 'America at War in Macedonia',

(49) = ???

(50) = BBC News 25 May 2005, 'Giant Caspian oil pipeline opens',

(51) = Saivetz, Carol R (2000) 'Caspian Geopolitics: The View from Moscow' in The Brown Journal of World Affairs Summer/Fall 2000 – Volume VII, Issue 2

(52) = 'The Crisis In Chechnya' Professor Edward W. Walker of Berkeley University (1995) ,

(53) = Klevemen, Lutz (2004) 'The New Great Game : Blood and Oil in Central Asia' , Atlantic Books 2004 paperback edition, page 26

(54) = Guardian 24 Sep 2002, 'Russia lifts objections after Chechen 'deal'',,,797846,00.html

(55) = US Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Agency, Country Analysis Briefs , Afghanistan, and

(56) = Guardian 24 Oct 2001, ‘Route to riches’,,1361,579401,00.html (Afghanistan has huge strategic importance for the west as a corridor to the untapped fuel reserves in central Asia, reports Andy Rowell)


(58) = Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004 pages 300-313, 364-367

(59) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 Chapters 10 to 14 - and especially page 180 , 263 [note 23] - Rashid quotes a US official in Islamabad in 1998 as telling him that "the US acquiesced in supporting the Taliban because of our links to the Pakistan and Saudi governments who backed them, but we no longer do so"

(60) = Time Magazine - November 4, 1996 Vol. 148 No. 21, 'Friends Of The Taliban' By Edward Barnes,,9171,985414,00.html

(61) = Pakistani Battalions Enter Afghanistan As received by AAR Afghan Azadi Radio , Office of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in Washington D.C. , Thursday, 18 January -

(62) = Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004 pages ????

(63) = Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004, page 338 (US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Robin Raphel, asked the UN Security Council not to isolate the Taliban in 1996)

(64) = Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales by Country For Year 1996 - Congressional Record, 6 February 1997, pp. E189-90 , In - The Arms Sales Monitor of the Federation of American Scientists

(65) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 pages 166, 179

(66) = Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004, page 338-339

(67) = The Times of India 7 March 2001'CIA worked in tandem with Pak to create Taliban', original article is no longer available in the Times of India's archive but is reproduced at the above address and several others)

(68) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 - p132

(69) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 p167

(70) = Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004, page 308

(71) = Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004, page 313

(72) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 - p173

(73) = Guardian 24 Oct 2001, 'Route to riches',,,579401,00.html

(74) = Independent 10 Jan 2002, 'New US envoy to Kabul lobbied for Taliban oil rights,

(75) = BBC News 27 Dec 2002 , ‘Central Asia pipeline deal signed’,

(76) = In August 2007 Geo News TV of Pakistan reported that Pakistan's government had given a $10 billion contract to International Oil Company (IOC) of the United States to build the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline. Geo were quoted by the Daily News newspaper of Pakistan (Daily Times 20 Aug 2007, ‘Govt awards TAP pipeline contract to US company’, who were quoted by Alexander's Oil and Gas Connections (Alexander’s Gas and Oil Connections 11 Sep 2007, ‘Pakistan awards TAP pipeline contract to US company Geo's transmissions (based in Dubai) were closed down by Dubai's government after the TV station showed film of anti-Musharraf demonstrations in November 2007 (CNN 16 Nov 2007 , ‘Dubai agrees to pull plug on Pakistani TV networks’, . Since i can find no company of the name "International Oil Company" based in the U.S its hard to know what its based on. The report may be true with the identity of the company not known by the Geo reporter, or it may be a false rumour, or it may be a confusion with the Indian Oil Corporation which also has the acronym IOC.

(77) = Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004, pages 441, 485, 511

(78) = Haqqani, Husain (2005) , 'Pakistan Between Mosque and Military' , Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, 2005

(79) = New York Times 09 Oct 2001 , 'Pakistani Is Already Calling on U.S. to End Airstrikes Quickly',

(80) = Klevemen, Lutz (2004) 'The New Great Game : Blood and Oil in Central Asia' , Atlantic Books 2004 paperback edition, pages 75-83

(81) = Guardian 23 Feb 2008, 'US tells Europe to stop dithering over pipeline',

(82) = USA Today 24 Jun 2007, ‘Afghan civilians reportedly killed more by U.S., NATO than insurgents’,

(83) = Human Rights Watch March 2004, ‘“Enduring Freedom:” - Abuses by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan’,

(84) = Captain Ian Fishback of the US 82nd Airborne wrote a letter to Senator John McCain on torture and killings of prisoners by US forces which he witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq including "including death threats, beatings, broken bones, murder, exposure to elements, extreme forced physical exertion, hostage-taking, stripping, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment" - Washington Post Wednesday, September 28, 2005; A21,‘ A Matter of Honor’,

(85) = Amnesty International's annual report 2007 (covering 2006) said "Extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and abductions, torture including in unofficial detention centres, and arbitrary detentions continued in the North Caucasus region, in particular in Chechnya. In Chechnya, impunity remained the norm for those who committed human rights abuses, and people seeking justice faced intimidation and death threatstorture and killings in Chechnya by Russian forces." ,

(86) = Human Rights Watch 21 Mar 2005 , 'Chechnya: 'Disappearances' a Crime Against Humanity ',

(87) = Human Rights Watch 31 Nov 2006, 'Chechnya: Research Shows Widespread and Systematic Use of Torture',

(88) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris,London ,2001 - p179 ( also see Coll, Steve (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London, 2004 pages 338-339)

copyright©Duncan McFarlane2008