The U.S. Continues to Fund the Taliban Despite Pledges Not to Do So

The issue of U.S. aid money to Afghanistan funding the Taliban’s oppressive state rather than non-aligned aid groups that assist women and other citizens has been percolating since late last year. There were indications that the Taliban was using some of that aid money to fund terrorist operations in the region.

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“There should be strict measures in place to stop any country that receives foreign aid from the United States from turning around and sending money to terrorists,” said Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn). “We know the Taliban has already intercepted a lot of weapons and resources it shouldn’t have, and it’s our duty to cut them off wherever we can.”

Burchett introduced the “No Tax Dollars for the Taliban” Act in December.

In March, a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report showed that $2.9 billion in UN aid to Afghanistan, much of it from the U.S., ended up in the Afghan central bank under Taliban control. The UN says it can’t help it because the Taliban controls the country and its central bank.

“It is unacceptable for any U.S. funding to benefit the Taliban,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a statement.

“The Biden administration must take immediate action to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from going to the Taliban,” McCaul said. He praised the work of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) who brought the matter to the attention of Congress.

“It’s just obscene that any money would get to the Taliban,” Burchett told Fox News Digital in an interview on Tuesday. “We are $35 trillion in debt and do not need to be funding our enemies one bit.”

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“If this was an oversight of them, funding our enemies, that just tells you they have zero management and zero quality control at all, they don’t know what’s going on,” Burchett said. “They obviously – somebody knows what’s going on, and those people need to be out.”

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan nearly three years ago, the U.S. has provided over $2.8 billion to address the humanitarian crisis there, according to a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report released in May.

The “No Tax Dollars for the Taliban” Act would, among other things, require the U.S. Secretary of State “to report on countries that have provided the Taliban with assistance, the amount of assistance, and how the Taliban has used that assistance.”

It would also:

  • Require the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to discourage foreign countries from providing aid to the Taliban and to determine whether countries that do should still receive U.S. assistance. 
  • Require a report on Direct Cash Assistance Programs in Afghanistan that includes identification of partners and recipients of direct cash assistance, descriptions of how these payments occur, and how the State Department prevents the Taliban from accessing cash assistance. 
  • Require a report on the Afghan Fund which includes a list of Taliban members working at Da Afghanistan Bank (Afghanistan’s central bank), a description of the influence the Taliban has over the bank and the Afghan Fund’s Board of Trustees, and what controls are in place to ensure disbursements are not diverted to the Taliban from the Afghan Fund. 

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The State Department under Secretary Antony Blinken has not been forthcoming about the money and where it goes. Perhaps this bill, if it becomes law, will shed a little light on that funding and perhaps prevent the Taliban from using our tax dollars to fund its terrorist regime.

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