US Rules Out Release of Billions of Dollars in Afghan Funds

Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via The Wall Street Journal]

The Facts

  • After previous indications of progress in talks between the US and the Taliban, the Biden admin. has reportedly suspended talks and stated that none of the roughly $7B in Afghan assets held on US soil since the Taliban takeover - which marked exactly one year on Mon. - will be released.

  • According to the US special envoy to Afghanistan, Tom West, the admin. has taken this decision as it doesn't believe the Afghan central bank has the ability or the trust "to manage assets responsibly."

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

While the Taliban has committed atrocities as Afghanistan's governing body since the US withdrawal, these funds still belong to the Afghan people and should be released immediately to help alleviate life-threatening economic and starvation problems. The Afghan people didn't elect the Taliban and shouldn't be unfairly punished for the transgressions of their oppressors.

Pro-establishment narrative

The US simply releasing these funds will not automatically solve Afghan's economic problems. Before any money can be sent to Kabul, the Biden admin. must first ensure it will be going toward humanitarian aid and not toward terrorist operations. So far, there are no safeguards in place to guarantee this, and the fact that Zawahiri was hidden in Kabul can only raise further suspicions.

Nerd narrative

There is a 47% chance that Afghanistan will be used as a base for anti-NATO terrorism by 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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