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Afghan Banking System Poised For Collapse After Taliban Takeover
Members of the Taliban drive in the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul on September 16, 2021.
BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images

After three months of Taliban leadership, Afghanistan’s banking system is poised for collapse.

“Afghanistan’s financial and bank payment systems are in disarray,” says a United Nations Development Programme report provided to Reuters. “The bank-run problem must be resolved quickly to improve Afghanistan’s limited production capacity and prevent the banking system from collapsing.”

Reuters explains:

An abrupt withdrawal of most foreign development support after the Taliban seized power on Aug. 15 from Afghanistan’s Western-backed government has sent the economy into freefall, putting a severe strain on the banking system which set weekly withdrawal limits to stop a run on deposits…

Afghanistan’s banking system was already vulnerable before the Taliban came to power. But since then development aid has dried up, billions of dollars in Afghan assets have been frozen abroad, and the United Nations and aid groups are now struggling to get enough cash into the country.

The United Nations report calls for “coordination with the International Financial Institutions” — namely, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund — “with their extensive experience of the Afghan financial system.”

“We need to find a way to make sure that if we support the banking sector, we are not supporting Taliban,” said Abdallah al Dardari, who leads the UNDP in Afghanistan.

“We are in such a dire situation that we need to think of all possible options and we have to think outside the box,” he added. “What used to be three months ago unthinkable has to become thinkable now.”

The exit of American troops from Afghanistan earlier this year permitted the Taliban to quickly overrun the nation’s military and capture provincial capitals, culminating in the seizure of Kabul. Beyond its financial crisis, Afghanistan has witnessed terror attacks and increased child marriages.

During an interview with Fox News, a group of former Navy SEALs blasted President Biden for his handling of the withdrawal — and his failure to remove Americans from the tumultuous nation.

“If the Biden administration is so concerned about saving American lives with these mandates, these mask mandates and so on so forth, why don’t they mandate we rescue our citizens and save their lives as well over in Afghanistan?” said Texas congressional candidate Morgan Luttrell. “I was fortunate enough to run into an interpreter that served with us overseas for so long, in the past couple of weeks, and his family is still over there. And he pleaded with us, he begged us, he’s like, ‘Who do I need to get to help me get my family over?’ He spoke perfect English. Where’s that at?”

“I think it’s really sad to see the leadership at this point seeming to be careless about taking responsibility for what was a botched withdrawal,” added Florida congressional candidate Brady Duke. “You know, I think that we have to, we have to understand that this was a failure, that this was a failure. And we cannot continue this way. It was deeply un-American.”

According to the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute, the United States federal government spent $2.261 trillion on the two-decade conflict.

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