A new report says the U.D has discovered vast mineral resources in Afghanistan.
The New York Times reported that a team of U.S. geologists and Pentagon officials made the discovery.
The officials said it could be enough to turn the impoverished country into one of the world's most lucrative mining centers.
The report also indicated the Afghan mineral deposits could be worth up to $1 trillion. The minerals include iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium.
"There is stunning potential here," Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, told the paper in a report published Monday. "There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant."
The Times quoted a Pentagon memo as saying Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium," a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and cell phones.
The report said the U.S. Geological Survey began aerial surveys of Afghanistan's mineral resources in 2006, using data that had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Promising results led to a more sophisticated study the next year.