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Biden Orders Use of $7 Billion of Afghanistan Central Bank Funds, But None To Rebuild Afghan Rubble Field

Feb. 11, 2022 (EIRNS)—This morning President Biden initiated orders for the disbursement by the U.S. of the $7 billion in funds of the Afghanistan central bank that have been frozen in accounts of various U.S. financial entities since last August. Half of the funds are to go to provide aid to people in Afghanistan, but through agencies outside of the Taliban government control. The other half are to be held for disbursement to settle lawsuits by 9/11 victims, against the Taliban. There are no arrangements for backing the function of the Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) central bank. The U.S. is ordering disposition of the DAB funds in their entirety.

These actions are described in several documents and briefings today, including the presidential executive order, a fact sheet, a letter to Congress, and a background press call. This morning Biden signed the “Executive Order on Protecting Certain Property of Da Afghanistan Bank for the Benefit of the People of Pakistan.” After describing the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, the order declares the situation to be a national security emergency of the U.S., under which the U.S. orders all of the $7 billion in holdings of DAB, to be put in one account in the Federal Reserve Bank. The U.S. will then authorize disbursement from there.

The background briefing this morning justified this emergency and decree, saying, “The source of these reserves—fundamentally, these reserves, including the $7 billion in the U.S. [and other reserves in Germany, U.A.E., Switzerland and other states], are fundamentally kind of the proceeds of the sustained and significant international assistance that the United States and other international donors gave to Afghanistan over the past two decades.” Therefore, the U.S. is taking possession.

A trust fund is to be set up for the 9/11 claimants’ demands to be worked through by the courts.

The mechanisms by which the other $3.5 billion are to be handled, will be worked out.

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