America and Afghanistan: One year after the withdrawal
Allies: How America failed its partners in Afghanistan
The future of US policy toward Afghanistan
For the past year, you've seen that perhaps no leverage that the US and the West thought it had — aid, sanctions, the freezing of Afghanistan's reserves — has really had an effect on Taliban behavior. The Taliban has essentially done what they had always done. The Afghan people have been in a humanitarian crisis because the Taliban hasn't budged.
[Who is to blame for Afghanistan's current crises is a] tug of war in some ways. The people who are suffering are ordinary Afghans. [Politically, it’s difficult for the US to release foreign financial assets as long as the Taliban remains in charge.] The US can’t really just say, ‘Okay, you know what, we’re going to unfreeze your central bank funds and essentially insert liquidity in the economy,’ because that really looks like you’re essentially letting the Taliban get away with it.