A couple of more points. First on the Taliban's money resources. As Arizona pointed out, they get a lot of money from extortion and "fees" in addition to opium sales. This Fox Business article points that out:
Where does the Taliban get its money and who's funding the militant group in Afghanistan?
From the article: "But it's unclear how effective the Treasury's restrictions will ultimately be: The Taliban operates largely outside the confines of the global financial system."
"They're awash with cash," Gretchen Peters, executive director of the Center on Illicit Networks and Transnational Organized Crime, told NPR. "The Taliban has been earning far more from trafficking drugs and other illicit activity, ranging from extortion rackets to timber trafficking, artisanal mining, kidnapping schemes, for almost two decades now."
A United Nations report says: "While it's difficult to know precisely how much money the Taliban brings in each year, a recent United Nations report estimated that it's somewhere between $300 million and $1.6 billion."
"The primary sources of Taliban financing remain criminal activities, including drug trafficking and opium poppy production, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, mineral exploitation and revenues from tax collection in areas under Taliban control or influence," the report said.
Okay so my earlier point that freezing the Afghan financial assets might give Biden leverage, is probably not true, at least not in the short term. The Taliban have tons of money. But will those sources of cash last forever? They will have a country to run and it takes more than what you can get from an extortion racket and opium sales.
A second point is bothering me more. From the Washington Post article: Afghanistan is under Taliban control. Here’s who leads the organization.
The Taliban leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar, that Trump had sprung from jail to make a "deal with" is in Kabul now. That deal was with Donald Trump and had an end date of May 1st. There are other leaders that might interject their power, but for the time being, Baradar seems to be calling the shots. However, he may have competition from other Taliban leaders that may want to capitalize more on the tough situation Biden is now in..."between a rock and a hard place."
"Haibatullah Akhundzada is the supreme leader of the Taliban...Since becoming the de facto leader of the Taliban, he has worked to bolster the group’s finances, in part through the narcotics trade, while also attempting to unify the group’s factions and consolidate power... Mohammad Yaqoob is the oldest son of Taliban founder Mohammad Omar and heads the organization’s military. Less moderate-minded may be Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who founded the Haqqani network, an offshoot of the Taliban designated a terrorist group by the United States.
So which Taliban leader does Biden have the pleasure of dealing with? And a deal with one doesn't mean a deal with another Taliban leader exerting his power.
So a possible power struggle between these Taliban leaders could find the remaining American citizens stuck in Kabul and elsewhere in the country as hostages. Maybe they will even make a spectacle of a few public executions of the "infidels". Some of these religious crazies want real retribution and that means American blood.
And who else would benefit: The Republican Trump supporters who are already using it to bash Biden. They are led by Taliban Tucker. I saw a Rasmussen poll that if the election were held today, Trump would beat Biden in a landslide. The media have not been kind to Biden.
That's my worst nightmare scenario that seems to be unfolding before our eyes as the Taliban is in complete control.
Trump supporters are quietly cheering the Taliban to take down Biden.