The following quotes are from the Hearing on U.S. Interests in the Central Asian Republics conducted on February 12, 1998 by the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Committee on International Relations
"One hundred years ago, Central Asia was the arena for a great game played by Czarist Russia, Colonial Britain, Napoleon's France, and the Persian and the Ottoman Empires. Allegiances meant little during this struggle for empire building, where no single empire could gain the upper hand. One hundred years later, the collapse of the Soviet Union has unleashed a new great game, where the interests of the East India Trading Company have been replaced by those of Unocal and Total, and many other organizations and firms."
- The Hon. Doug Berueter, Chairman of the Subcommittee
"The U.S. Government's position is that we support multiple pipelines with the exception of the southern pipeline that would transit Iran. The Unocal pipeline is among those pipelines that would receive our support under that policy.
I would caution that while we do support the project, the U.S. Government has not at this point recognized any governing regime of the transit country, one of the transit countries, Afghanistan, through which that pipeline would be routed. But we do support the project."
- The Hon. Robert W. Gee, Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Energy, in testimony
"The second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious route south would cross Iran, but this is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route is across Afghanistan, which has of course its own unique challenges. The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades, and is still divided by civil war. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company."
- Mr. John J. Maresca, Vice President of International Relations, Unocal Corporation, in testimony
"So the government doesn't necessarily have to be acceptable to the people of Afghanistan as long as it's internationally recognized?
- The Hon. Dana Rohrabacher, Subcommittee member, questioning Mr. Maresca.
"I wish you luck in the project. I will do my best to help your project succeed. But at the same time, I think that we have got to put the effort into bringing freedom and peace to Afghanistan."
- Rep. Rohrabacher, concluding his questioning of Mr. Maresca