Washington Refuses to Release Afghanistan’s Assets

One year after the chaotic withdrawal of the United States and NATO troops from Afghanistan, the situation on the ground remains disastrous, with nearly half of the population facing acute hunger, according to the WFP, and roughly two-thirds in need of humanitarian healthcare this year. But the Biden Administration refuses to lift the sanctions and other measures taken, allegedly to punish the Taliban government.

Most scandalously, they refuse to release the nearly $7 billion of assets of the Afghan Central bank held in various U.S. banks that were illegally seized one year ago. That was confirmed on Aug. 15 by Thomas West, the U.S. State Department’s special representative to Afghanistan, in remarks to the Wall Street Journal. The central bank, he claimed, is unable to “manage assets responsibly”.

The Administration is also pushing to use at least half of those funds to compensate family members of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. — although the Afghan population had nothing whatsoever to do with those terrorist acts. In a letter dated Aug. 16, nearly 80 of those families called on President Biden to return the money to the Afghans, calling it “legally suspect and morally wrong” to use it to indemnify the victims.

The illegal seizure of the $7 bn. that rightfully belong to the Afghan people, which could have been used to import much food and medicine and to pay salaries, is one of the main factors that have convinced countries throughout the world to turn against the United States and its arbritarily imposed “rules based order”, and to look to China and Russia as more reliable allies. Washington may not have planned it that way, but it’s not too late to reverse the decision now…

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