Defend Truth

Taliban funds from all over – so, how about trying to phish ‘em?

The Taliban in Afghanistan run crafty financial networks to fund their operations, raising hundreds of millions of dollars from the drug trade, kidnappings, extortion and foreign donations that Americans are having problems shutting down. In Afghanistan they tax the cultivation, processing and shipment of opium, as well as other more normal crops. Taliban fundraisers also target various Arab countries. Proceeds from drugs may be as much as $400 million a year. By diversifying income streams the Taliban frustrate efforts to weaken it by starving it financially. The Taliban’s ability to raise funds complicates debate about increasing US troops. Would more Marines in Helmand (where opium is king) and their efforts to stop the opium flow cut the cash or anger local farmers dependent on it? But even if the cash is gone, will it help? A tribal fighter only costs about $200-$500 a month. “Their operations are so inexpensive they can be continued indefinitely even with locally generated resources,” said Congressional research service analyst Ken Katzman. Obama’s Afghan/Pakistan special envoy Richard Holbrooke adds, there was “a feeling that the money all came from drugs in Afghanistan. That is simply not true.”


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

[%% img-description %%]

The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options