Nations, it is said are like corporations as they always pursue their own interests. And superpowers are more likely to pursue their interest with an increased vehemence in comparison to the rest of the world. That despite the economic crisis looming large on the American horizon, $1million is being spent on one US soldier deployed for one year in Afghanistan by the US exemplifies how far the Americans can stretch themselves to achieve their national objectives. Plans are being worked out to consider the parameters of establishing permanent military bases in Afghanistan that is bound to turn the country into a US stronghold allowing it to keep an eye upon the entire Central and South Asian region. The oil and gas deposits of Central Asia and the rich mineral wealth of Afghanistan and Balochistan are far too precious to be ignored for the sake of a few million dollars a year on US troops. The Americans are notorious for establishing permanent bases, according to a senior American scholar Dennis Kux, in whatever country they enter, it later becomes difficult for them to leave. This is true, but there is more truth in the fact that the Americans select, with great deliberation and care, the regions that have the capacity to benefit them. Thus, every American move is driven by national interest such as the one to extend military presence in Afghanistan. LUBNA UMAR, Islamabad, November 22.