The Mongolia, that George W. Bush saw, is not the same Mongolia of 15 years ago. It is a growing country, with expanding prosperity, intelligent people, technologically advanced, and an entire generation of progressive young people.
I should know, as I have been visiting Mongolia now since the early 1990's, when it first threw off the shackles of Russia and the Soviet Union. Mongolia, when I first arrived had few consumer goods, the nation was financially bankrupt, and the political situation was unstable.
Mongolia is friendly to Americans, but not ignorant. They understand how to balance their needs in light of being land locked by Russia and China. But they also know how to curry favor with the United States and other nations.
Mongolians grow tired of Americans, and other visitors who "talk" but do not follow through with firm actions. So Mongolian leaders expect tangible results, not just "symbolic words" from the visit of the U.S. president. In light of the repeated bad luck of this president in every foreign stop, Mongolia was the bright spot on his itinerary.
Mongolia has some of the largest copper reserves in the world. Also, as Global Perspectives reported in 2003, Texas explorers from Snyder Oil in Houston, discovered oil and gas reserves there that are huge. I once discussed this with Bunker Hunt, the great oil man of Dallas, and he said that he had heard such stories and asked me to share the petrolium reserve maps that our company had obtained. Finally the nation has a large amount of gold and coal. The nation has implimented wind power. The nation has also encouraged new development of solar power. So, the nation, in our opinion has the foundation energy reserves, which is properly developed and managed could make it a rich nation, perhaps a "Saudia Arabia" of the northlands.