Another Unocal/Bush oil equation
Another ex-Unocal employee has been named a special envoy to Afghanistan. President Bush has appointed Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad as special envoy to that central Asian nation.
The appointment came just nine days after the U.S.-backed government of Hamid Karzai took office. Karzai is a former Unocal consultant.
Khalilzad is directly involved in long-term U.S. efforts to put a pipeline across Afghanistan to tap the oil reserves of the Caspian Basin, believed to be the second largest in the world after the Persian Gulf.
While working for Unocal, Khalilzad drew up a risk analysis of the proposed pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. He was part of the talks with the Taliban and Unocal in 1997.
Kahlilzad was born in Mazar-e-Sharif in 1951. His father was an aide to King Zahir Shah, who governed Afghanistan until 1973. Kahlilzad was a graduate student at the University of Chicago and became an American citizen.
He served as a special advisor to the State Department during the Reagan administration and was undersecretary of Defense in the administration of President George H. Bush. He headed the Bush-Cheney transition team and acted as advisor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.