Biden Admin Has Paid Taliban Nearly $11 Million Since Withdrawal Disaster

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report On Monday, the Biden administration announced it was overseeing $10.9 million in payments to Afghanistan’s Taliban junta since President Joe Biden took office. a disastrous retreat of the U.S. military in August 2021.

cigar Said The majority of US taxpayer funding for the Taliban regime came from “tax dollars” collected by terrorists. Approximately $500,000 of the payments were for “utility charges, fees, and customs duties.”

Worse still, the report found that $10.9 million tracked by SIGAR’s auditors was due to “no U.N. agency receiving U.S. funds collecting data or providing relevant information on sub-awardees.” “This appears to represent only a fraction of the total amount of U.S. aid provided to the Taliban.” “payment”.

Additionally, the special inspector general complained that many organizations operating in Afghanistan simply do not comply with the U.S. Treasury Department’s minimum record-keeping requirements.

One of the UN’s “implementing partners” told SIGAR investigators that it paid taxes to the Taliban but did not keep records of the transactions. Ironically, the very fact that the United States does not recognize the legitimacy of the Taliban regime means that the military junta in Kabul does not meet the technical definition of a “host government” and therefore has no record of taxes and fees paid. This is cited as a reason for not keeping it.

The United Nations has collected about $1.6 billion from U.S. taxpayers for programs in Afghanistan since the fall of Kabul, but is not required to “annually report on taxes, fees, duties, and utility charges” paid to the Taliban regime. .

The United Nations itself claims it pays no taxes or fees to the Taliban because they were granted tax-exempt status, but SIGAR notes that the agency “acts as a pass-through entity for state and USAID awards and “We use subcontractors to directly carry out activities.”

The administration did not give permission to those contractors. Due to tax exemptions, a significant portion of the American funds allocated to them likely ended up in the Taliban’s coffers.

SIGAR noted that U.N. officials have warned contractors that if the Taliban fail to pay taxes and fees, they will be “punished with a range of measures, from freezing bank accounts to closing offices for allegedly diverting aid or attempting to infiltrate NGOs.” [non-government organizations] It will interfere with your activities. ”

Of the 65 organizations active in Afghanistan that responded to SIGAR’s survey, 17 organizations responded to requests from the Taliban, including requests to hire “persons approved by the Taliban” and orders to distribute food and medicine to “people chosen by the Taliban.” He said he had been under direct pressure. Responding groups said they were able to resist many of the Taliban’s demands, although they were sometimes threatened by armed thugs.

Cigar warned:

Collecting taxes, fees, duties, and utilities directly from U.S. government-funded activities risks legitimizing the Taliban-controlled government in the eyes of the Afghan public. For example, implementing partners reported that the Taliban uses aid delivery as propaganda by taking credit for aid provided to Afghans.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was not surprised by the results of the SIGAR audit. I was demanded to In March 2023.

“U.S. funding that benefits the Taliban is unacceptable. The Biden administration must take immediate action to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from flowing to the Taliban,” McCall said. Said of daily caller on tuesday.

The State Department issued a noteworthy statement. daily caller It claims that “no U.S. government aid is provided to the Taliban” as billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are laundered through the United Nations and its partner agencies.

SIGAR made several specific policy recommendations to reduce the amount of U.S. taxpayer money flowing to the Taliban, including expanding reporting requirements for all recipients of U.S. funding, proper tax reporting for all fees collected by the Taliban regime, and stricter Treasury Department enforcement of largely ignored Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations.