Trade and Nation Building
Products have one value to those who are in locations where the product
is plentiful or exists in surplus, and other values at more remote
points. The value of a products at these remote locations may vary
according to local conditions. For instance, muscrat pelts from North
America were important trade items in the northern latitudes of
Eurasia, but not in great demand in the tropics.
Locations can also have varying values depending on their relationships
with other lands and the quality of connecting routes among them. A
rather dry, barren land may not offer an easy life to its inhabitants,
but if it stands at the intersection of many routes uses by traders and
other travellers, the people living in this region can sell or trade
their local produce advantageously, provide livery stables and other
facilities of feeding, watering, and otherwise managing horses, camels,
or other animals important to transportation. In the 21st century,
provision of gasoline, diesel fuel, electricity, and Internet or other
forms of communication can also be profitable. These oasis areas are
also important to travellers because it would not be economical for
them to carry their own fuel and water, and no matter how well they
prepared their food supplies they would become monotonous and probably
stale after a while on the road.
Afghanistan is treated in detail by S. Frederick Starr in "Afghanistan
Beyond the For of Nation Building: Giving Economic Strategy a Chance."
See this URL for a link to this article.