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Taliban got rid of US, but not dollar, by Daniel Moss | Columnists


The Taliban may have swept Afghanistan, but they haven’t yet conquered its financial system, big parts of which rest on support from outside the country. The U.S. has a heavy hand in the multilateral organizations that dictate the flow of international aid upon which this shaky economy relies. Americans may have evacuated, but the dollar’s influence will remain.

The International Monetary Fund, whose largest shareholder is the U.S., denied the Taliban access to reserve assets, days before Afghanistan was set to receive almost $500 million. That came a day after a Biden administration official confirmed the U.S. froze nearly $9.5 billion belonging to the central bank and stopped shipments of cash to the nation. The IMF said the decision reflects the Taliban’s lack of international recognition, but it’s hard not see America’s hand behind this refusal.

Afghanistan’s dire economic state thus gives the U.S. substantial leverage. At the end of 2020,…

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