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Daniel Moss

The Taliban Got Rid of the U.S., But Not the Dollar

Afghanistan’s reliance on international aid means American influence will remain important. Washington still has important cards to play.  

Together forever.

Together forever.

Photographer: DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

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 be evacuating, 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 Wednesday, 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.