Monday the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said it would be sending $64 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the “compounding effects of insecurity, conflict, recurring natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic.” That is $64 million dollars of U.S. taxpayer funds to be sent to a nation completely under the control of the murderous Taliban.
The U.S. is the largest humanitarian donor in Afghanistan and has agreed to provide $330 million in assistance in the current fiscal year according to the State Department. The latest aid package brings total U.S. assistance in Afghanistan to around $4 billion since 2002. This announcement came one day after the United Nations (U.N.) called for $600 million to prevent famine and a public health crisis in Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday promised to ensure the Taliban does not block humanitarian assistance, particularly to groups such as women and girls.
“The United States will also work with the international community to help ensure that the Taliban follow through on its commitments and advance unhindered humanitarian access, freedom of movement for aid workers of all genders, safety and security of humanitarian staff, and safe passage for all those who wish to leave Afghanistan.”Secretary Blinken
Afghanistan is, of course, essentially fully under the control of the Taliban. The nation is now effectively a terrorist superstate. How Blinken or anyone else is going to compel the Taliban to provide aid to the Afghan people is unknown. Almost assuredly, once financial or other aid is transferred to people like the Haqqanis it will be appropriated. Terrorists will become richer. The Afghan people will continue to suffer.
Even when the United States was in charge in Afghanistan our aid to that nation went largely into the pockets of corrupt Afghan officials. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in October of 2020 that $19 billion dollars in U.S. aid had been lost to “waste, fraud, and abuse.” At one point U.S. diplomats estimated that drug traffickers and corrupt Afghan officials were moving $231 million a week out of the country and stashing it abroad.
If we could not keep aid from being stolen when we were on the ground in Afghanistan with tens of thousands of troops, by what means will we now ensure it is used as intended by a hostile terrorist group? The Taliban are not just holy warriors. They are also perhaps the world’s largest drug cartel trading in opium, heroin, hashish, and methamphetamines. Are we to seriously believe that men who force women into sex slavery, deal in dangerous drugs, and are systematically cleansing the Panjshir Valley of all opposition will abide by Mr. Blinken’s stern admonitions that they use the aid provided for benevolent purposes?
Afghanistan’s drug trade generates an estimated $35 million a month for the Taliban and associated drug gangs. One in ten Afghans is involved in the drug trade. A similar percentage are addicts. Afghanistan is the world’s biggest producer of opium, from which heroin is derived.
The Taliban has recently moved into the production of methamphetamines as well. Ephedra, a plant used to make methamphetamine, grows wild in Afghanistan.
The Taliban supply most of the major criminal organizations on the planet with heroin. The total value of all the illicit drugs the Taliban produces was estimated in 2017 to be $6.6 billion a year. They are drug dealers to the world.
So, the Biden administration having presided over perhaps the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history and having armed the Taliban with the most sophisticated weaponry ever produced, now believes that we should hand this murderous band of savages vast quantities of money and rely on their assurances that it will be well spent. Even as all males 12 and over in the Panjshir valley are being liquidated, single women are being “married” against their will to Taliban fighters and opponents of the regime hunted down and executed, Tony Blinken and company believe they can count on the Taliban to do the right thing.
We are through the looking glass. We are no longer operating in the real world. We are adrift in a sea of lies, deception, and fantasy. And you are paying for it.