Reportedly, the United States has started considering the giving of direct financial aid as means of economic assistance to the Taliban. This is in direct opposition to currently held international sanctions that have been placed on the group over its direct material support for the expansion of radical Islamic terrorism, and also in spite of nearly 20 years of considering the Taliban a hostile enemy faction.
Jack Sullivan, Uncle Joe’s National Security Advisor, stated to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that the U.S. is in fact heavily considering the sending of aid.
“There is an important dimension of humanitarian assistance that should go directly to the people of Afghanistan,” started Sullivan. “They need help with respect to health, and food aid, and other forms of subsistence, and we do intend to continue that.”
“Secondly, when it comes to our economic and development assistance relationship with the Taliban, that will be about the Taliban’s actions,” he went on. “That will be about whether they follow through on their commitments to safe passage for Americans and Afghan allies, their commitment to not allow Afghanistan a base from which terrorists can attack the United States or any other country, their commitments with respect to upholding their international obligations.”
“It’s going to be up to them,” stated Sullivan. “And we will wait and see, by their actions, how we end up responding.”
The comments put forth by Sullivan seem to mean that the Biden Administration has not removed the possibility of direct aid to the Taliban government from the table, despite the fact that the United States currently designates the Taliban as a “terrorist” entity.
“The Taliban are designated as a terrorist group by the United States. The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets of the group and bars Americans from dealing with them, including the contribution of funds, goods or services,” reported Reuters earlier in August.
Members of the Biden administration have recently spoken favorably about the idea of providing aid to the Afghan people, but that has now been complicated by the Taliban that now controls the government, and is not the responsible party for the distribution of aid. As previously reported by WLS Chicago, the Taliban have “siphoned off” almost 50% of all aid that was being sent into Afghanistan since the start of the war. This meant that the aid had effectively allowed the Taliban to start up its military offensive, one which has led to the U.S.’s early and quite disastrous withdrawal from the country.
“Congress has said that most of the aid the US has sent in the past several years, didn’t end up with the people who need it already, but they figured that about 50% of American aid to Afghanistan in the past several years, has been siphoned off to warlords or to corruption or to fraud,” stated a professor of political science out of a Northwestern University. “And so with the change in government in Afghanistan, I think the odds of using American money to influence events and improve people’s lives are pretty slim.”