The truth about the situation in Afghanistan is not as rosy as the Biden administration wants you to believe. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has released its updated 2023 “High-Risk List,” and it reveals the grim reality on the ground – a reality that is nothing like the one presented earlier this month by the Biden administration in its desperate attempt to blame the Trump administration for its colossal failure.
Five Damning Excerpts From New Report Debunking Biden's Narrative on Afghanistan https://t.co/HFpm7NmENf pic.twitter.com/8ndqklJKeq
— RedWave (@RedWaveBreaking) April 19, 2023
Within the 52-page SIGAR report are a number of condemnations of the Biden administration’s costly errors that have led to new and deteriorating problems since Biden’s withdrawal concluded in August 2021. Here are five of them that show the reality in Afghanistan is getting worse, despite Biden’s declarations of success.
Firstly, the Taliban is still profiting from international aid, including funds from the United States, despite Biden’s assurances to the contrary. An NGO official in Afghanistan informed SIGAR that the Taliban imposes customs duties on shipments entering the country for humanitarian and development projects. They charge random taxes and fees on NGOs, suppliers, commercial landlords, cell-phone companies, and vendors that can pass the costs on to NGOs.
Secondly, the administrative chaos in the Biden administration is not protecting vulnerable Afghans as they were promised. The United States made commitments to protect tens of thousands of Afghans who had partnered with U.S. officials to secure the country, establish rule of law, and build democratic institutions. However, bureaucratic dysfunction and understaffing are hindering U.S. promises, putting their lives and their families’ lives in danger.
Thirdly, President Biden continues to break his promise of resettlement for America’s Afghan allies. He assured U.S. allies one month before the Afghan government fell that they would be safe and not be left behind. However, the United States has not kept its word, with most of its partners left behind. It will take an average of one year for each family to reach safety.
Fourthly, the Taliban’s grip and influence on Afghanistan continue to grow. They have increased their unannounced visits to NGO offices, requests for information about NGO operations, demands to be involved in project decision making and implementation, and requests for MOUs. According to experts, the Taliban’s ministry of public health, among other offices, regularly disqualifies certain NGOs in favor of other preferred ones and redirects donor assistance away from certain groups.
Lastly, the Biden administration appears to be clueless about the situation in Afghanistan, with no practical solutions to improve oversight. Reports over the last 14 years have found weaknesses in oversight that have cost billions in waste, fraud, and abuse. Since the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the closure of U.S. Embassy-Kabul in August 2021, the need for proper oversight has only grown, as billions in U.S. assistance continue to flow to Afghanistan to address the ongoing humanitarian and economic emergencies.
As the latest SIGAR report concludes, “U.S. assistance is at even higher risk now than it was in 2021,” and the Taliban continues to exploit its influence to benefit from American aid, with little oversight, while amassing more power and reverting to its backward ways. The Biden administration’s insistence that Afghanistan is a success story of the president’s leadership has been consistently debunked by the reality on the ground.