February 08, 2023

Frozen Afghan Funds Have Done Little to Sway Taliban

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Journalist: Daniella Cheslow

The U.S. has stepped up use of economic sanctions and asset seizures in the past two years as a foreign-policy mechanism against Afghanistan as well as Russia. In the case of Afghanistan, those tools have so far shown little efficacy under Taliban rule—and could take years to work if they work at all, people close to the situation say.

“The U.S. and the international community need to figure out additional incentives and punitive measures to impact Taliban behavior,” said Alex Zerden, a former U.S. Treasury attaché in Kabul and now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a think tank in Washington, D.C. The promise of money now frozen in Switzerland has so far done little to sway the Taliban, he said.

The U.S. froze Afghanistan’s central bank reserves in 2021 after the Taliban swept into Kabul and toppled the U.S.-backed government.

Read the full story and more from The Wall Street Journal.


  • Alex Zerden

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, and Security Program, Founder, Capital Peak Strategies

    Alex Zerden is the founder of Capitol Peak Strategies, a risk advisory firm based in Washington, DC. Capitol Peak works with leading financial institutions, companies and orga...