Western Financial Pressure On The Taliban
With military retaliation against the Taliban ruled out, the West is turning to financial reprisals. The US has frozen Afghanistan's central bank assets and global development aid is halted.
The speed of the Taliban's capture of Afghanistan last weekend has left the West scrambling to curtail the Islamist militants' grip on the country. Military action has been all but ruled out and instead the United States and its NATO allies have turned to financial warfare.
US President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve have frozen billions of dollars in Afghan currency reserves held in the US. Nearly $9 billion (€7.7 billion) in assets are kept in the US and other countries, including $1.2 billion in gold and more than $300 million in international currencies.
In anticipation of the fall of Kabul, Biden last week halted shipments of US dollars to Afghanistan — a move the country's former central bank chief Ajmal Ahmady said would lead to "dire" prospects for the people.
US financial newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported that Washington is also blocking Taliban access to government accounts managed by the Federal Reserve and other US banks.
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