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Eleven U.S. Ambassadors and Generals Tell Biden, U.S. Must Step Up with Aid for Afghanistan

Dec. 14, 2021 (EIRNS)—The Atlantic Council posted a call on Dec. 13, entitled “Afghanistan Is About To Collapse. Here’s What the U.S. Must Do About It,” signed by eight U.S. ambassadors and three generals with experience in Afghanistan, including Gen. David Petraeus. It observes the “humanitarian catastrophe” unfolding and the “cutoff of most external assistance and the freezing of most of Afghanistan’s monetary reserves, thereby eliminating 40% of the country’s gross domestic product and 75% of the government’s budget.” It further points to the collapse of the Kabul’s currency and the banking system, the “prolonged drought” and “a raging COVID-19 pandemic.” Finally, it cites the UN World Food Program’s estimate that “only 5% of Afghan households have sufficient food to eat each day.”

After describing the reluctance of the Biden administration and others to provide support that they claim helps the Taliban, the authors admit that there are means to get resources where they have to go, including proposals by USAID directors and World Bank officials; so what is really needed now is political courage. “The longer decisions are postponed, the more difficult it will become to prevent the looming humanitarian catastrophe in the country and the deaths of many Afghans.” They “believe the United States has a reputational interest and a moral obligation” to provide aid, and they conclude: “We therefore recommend that the Biden administration expedite its consideration of these issues and, working in close coordination with key allies, come forward with tangible proposals to help stabilize the Afghan economy for discussion with other donors and ultimately presentation to the Taliban.”

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