OTTAWA, June 19 (UPI) -- U.S. support for the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline over a rival Iranian project may put Canadian forces in the middle of a new cold war, an economist says.
The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, or TAPI, is a planned project to deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and on into India. The United States supports the project as part of a broader containment strategy to deter the influence of Russia and Iran in the energy market.
Canadian international energy economist John Foster released a report Thursday saying the Canadian government eschewed the geopolitical significance of its military operations in Afghanistan despite the potential for those forces to be called on to defend the pipeline, The Globe and Mail said Thursday.
"Government efforts to convince Canadians to stay in Afghanistan have been enormous," Foster writes for the Ottawa-based think tank Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives. "But the impact of the proposed multibillion-dollar pipeline in areas of Afghanistan under Canadian purview has never been seriously debated."
Foster worries in the report that the Canadian military may be placed in the middle of a "new great game" regarding energy security in Central Asia.