The Taliban Is Tapped-Out

Tyler Durden's picture

Afghanistan’s insurgents have endured hard times before, but nothing quite like this. At first glance the war might seem to be turning in their favor. Hundreds of Taliban foot soldiers - the heart and soul of the armed struggle against the U.S.-backed Kabul government - are running out of food, money and ammunition. As Vocative reports, their plight is unlikely to improve anytime soon - people familiar with the Taliban’s finances say the organization’s main sources of revenue have dried up. Wealthy Arab donors, Afghan businessmen and even Pakistan’s powerful and secretive spy agency have all reduced or stopped funding, each for their own reasons.

Via Vocativ,

Mullah Yaseen is penniless. Wrapped in a heavy black coat, the 45-year-old Afghan insurgent huddles inside a heatless tea shop near the Pakistani-Afghan border and pours out his troubles. Over the past eight months, he and his 15 Taliban fighters have received no support from the group’s central command, Yaseen says. Not a bullet or a cent.



Yaseen needed to requisition supplies and ammunition for the fighting season ahead.

He had no luck. Instead, he was told that there were temporary cash-flow problems and he should ask his fellow villagers for a loan. He would be given the money to reimburse them within a month, he was promised. Back home, Yaseen scraped up roughly $2,000 to keep his men fighting. He has yet to be repaid, and his neighbors want the money.



Nevertheless, Mullah Yaseen and hundreds of Taliban foot soldiers like him—the heart and soul of the armed struggle against the U.S.-backed Kabul government—are running out of food, money and ammunition.

Their plight is unlikely to improve anytime soon. People familiar with the Taliban’s finances say the organization’s main sources of revenue have dried up. Wealthy Arab donors, Afghan businessmen and even Pakistan’s powerful and secretive spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, have all reduced or stopped funding, each for their own reasons.


The Arabs’ departure is a crippling blow. Support from private Saudi donors has been crucial to Afghanistan’s insurgents ever since the war against the Soviets in the 1980s—many years before the rise of Mullah Mohammed Omar and his armed followers. But interest in Afghanistan has faded among hard-liners in the Gulf region. Osama bin Laden is dead; most of Al Qaeda’s surviving operatives have fled the constant threat of U.S. drone attacks, and the Taliban never really shared bin Laden’s desire to take his holy war worldwide. Now global jihad and its Arab backers have moved on to more promising arenas, like Iraq and Syria.

As the financial crisis continues, Afghan civilians say they aren’t merely disappointed with the Taliban—they’re fed up.



Many former contributors no longer trust the insurgents. “We don’t regard the Taliban as soldiers of God anymore,” says a conservative Afghan businessman in Peshawar.


“Their fundraisers used to come on foot to collect donations. Now they show up in luxury cars. It’s clear they’re stealing the money.” A 40-year-old former Taliban commander echoes the complaint: “Instead of going to jihad, the donations are cruising down the streets of Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.”

The group isn’t totally destitute...

According to an official with the Afghan National Security Council, the ISI continues to channel support to those insurgent leaders who reliably do Pakistan’s bidding. But everyone else is on his own, and there are few viable alternatives. Local Taliban units used to drive a lucrative trade in ransom kidnapping, but they finally ran out of potential victims. Although the group still imposes “taxes” on the country’s multibillion-dollar heroin industry, much of that money seems to end up filling private bank accounts, rather than helping fighters in the field.




The Taliban’s finance department has a special office dedicated to resolving complaints, but it was no help. “They told me, ‘Sorry, we don’t have that much money right now.’”

Death is fine - but dying with a debt!! not acceptable...

He says he has left the front lines. As much as he wants to rejoin the jihad, he doesn’t dare go back until he repays the $2,000 he owes his neighbors. He’s not afraid to die, he says. What scares him is the idea that he might die with an outstanding loan. “Anytime I’m out there, I could be martyred,” he says. “And God does not forgive anyone—even a martyr—who dies without paying his just debts.”

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Gamma735's picture

So we are going to win the war because the USA has better credit?

remain calm's picture

Even though they tapped out we will still bomb them, well because thats what we do.

repete's picture

how much can a few sets of monkey bars and some box cutters really cost?

Stackers's picture

Taliban just needs to start a Rothschild back private central bank and fractional reserve banking system and start printing all the credit they need

Soul Glow's picture

Too bad the Rothchilds don't care about Afghanistan.  Only the eastern coast of the med.

0b1knob's picture

"The Sinews of War are Infinite Money"   Some old Roman guy.

CH1's picture

Damn, they had better work with the US military-industrial complex to fire-up another war!

Soul Glow's picture

War and taxes are all that governments have going for them.

patb's picture

The US Army is pulling out and Halliburton is cutting the split to the Taliban.

balolalo's picture

Come on kids.   Everyone knows the big money is now in Syria, Yemen, Lybia, Egypt, Kenya.

Follow the money, follow the bombs.    

Freddie's picture

Follow the drones.  I have lost track of who is who in Afghanistan.  We are there for drugs and pipeline that the Saudis do not want to go from Iran to China if I remember.

The Saudis are Sunni and Iran are Shia.  So who was funding the Taliban?  It used to be the Saudis during reagan and when our little bath house muslim started working for EL Kai See Eye A Dah in Pakistan and Afghanistan when he was a pup just out of the choom wagen.

Rock On Roger's picture

Is that why that actor dude died with a needle in his arm?


Stack On

zerozulu's picture

Interesting to see who wins. Very very close match.

Four chan's picture

they better hope the cia doesnt stop buying opium from them, to sell here. 

EscapingProgress's picture

The Taliban probably spent a few million fighting the Great Satan. The Great Satan's bill is in the trillions.

Another empire laid to rest in the ME...

Roll credits!

*Cast of Characters*

William Morton Dudley - George Dubya

Mr. Halliburton - Dick Cheney

Curveball - Colin Powell

The Pianist - Condoleezza Rice

The Accountant - Donald Rumsfeld

The Mastermind - Ariel Sharon

Evil Dictator - Saddam Hussein

Bearded Arab - Osama bin Laden

The Kenyan - Barrack Obama

Ben Ghazi - Hillary Clinton

Baghdad Bob as himself


BeansMcGreens's picture




The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan:     Chris Wallace, George Robert Stephanopoulos, and Jon Stewart

Buck Johnson's picture

I guess what is happening is that the ones getting the money are loving going to gamble and women and fine food, don't blame them who wants to go to war.

Soul Glow's picture

Freedom ain't free.  It costs a buck 'o nine.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

And that darned jihad is so expensive!

Nassim's picture

If you believe the official story of 9/11, you must be a bit out of touch


"Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory"



Pure Evil's picture

I guess the Fed taper is hurting more than just emerging markets.


To the presses Gellen Yellen and step on it, we have insurgents to save.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Just ask the Tsarnaev Brothers how expensive it is for the FBI and CIA to make their BMW payments, housing, dental and medical benefits along with the monthly "expenses" and send them back and forth between Boston, Georgia and Chechyna for training sessions?



BraveSirRobin's picture

Even though they tapped out we will still bomb them, well because thats what we do.

Even though they are tapped out, we will still bomb them because that is what they deserve.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Yeah.  The U.S. Government is at it's best and worst in covering things up when they kill either at home or abroad!

It's what we "do" to "ourselves"... In a vain attempt to control everything!

Flakmeister's picture

Hasn't that been the case for about 100 years?

Well, there were a couple instances that didn't work out as well as was hoped for...

y3maxx's picture

..."Mission Accomplished"...

CIA/MIC now control the Poppy fields

BraveSirRobin's picture

Actually the war has calmed because no one is messing with the poppy fields. Things were going fine for us in Afghanistan until we got sanctimonious and tried to supress the poppy industry. Any time you mess with some one's livilihood, you take a chance of getting shot at. And since everyone had their hand in the business (Karzi, tribal elders, Pakistani government and intelligence, Iranians, and so on) everyone suddenly wanted to shoot at us. It's complex, but internally this really is a sort of opium war with a wierd hillbilly mafia tribal blood feud overlay. We have backed off considerably, and as a result the powers that be have to incentive to arm and pay folks to attack us.

We will see what happens when the fighting season arrives. Winter is always calmer than spring and summer. It's real hard to get around the place in winter, so everyone just sort of waits it out.

We can change Afghanistan. It is possible, but only if we kill everyone there and repopulate the place with some other culture. 

El Vaquero's picture

More like world wide finances are getting dicey and they're just as corrupt as the rest of the world. 

Overfed's picture

I just wanna know; does this mean we (royal we) won the war on terror? They'll be repealing the "Patriot" act, indefinite detention, dismantling TSA, DHS, NSA, et. al.? Guess not.

The Dunce's picture

Damn.  I was gonna ask Abdul for a payday loan.  Looks like I'm shit out of luck.  Word.

The Gooch's picture

I thought Philiip Seymoar was helping those brothers out?

NYPD is on a national turrist security level one trying to find the street dealer.

Hahaha Taliban!

All your poppy are belong to us.


satoshi911's picture

Cop's report finding 50 bags of CIA heroin in his flat, ... you have to wonder what they really found?

nightshiftsucks's picture

It's also reported that they found pics of Satoshi giving Hoffman head.

satoshi911's picture

Now they up it to finding 65 bags you have to wonder what they really found :)


VD's picture

God don't print fiat biyacthz...

Mr Pink's picture

Four words...







nostinknbadges's picture

When our Milo Minderbinders left the AO, well, all the incentives left.
Maybe Blackwater or Haliburton can find these guys jobs.

Dugald's picture

"the donations are cruising down the streets of Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.”

Good to see Private Enterprise at work!!!!!! 

nmewn's picture

Enter the Fentanyl.

booboo's picture

“And God does not forgive anyone—even a martyr—who dies without paying his just debts.”

The book of Goldman Chapter 11: verse 7

darteaus's picture

That explains why Iran chose now to negotiate for lifted sanctions.

Freddie's picture

Bingo!   This is what I was thinking.

Element's picture

For sure. The Iranians did the same thing to the US in Iraq, as well. What else were they going to do, but make US/NATO desire withdrawal? And fair enough too, as 9-11 was clearly a manufactured excuse for enacting a planned series of on-going wars. A former US General even essentially admitted that this was the whole Washington agenda, and that the plans were all formulated prior to 9-11. So '9-11' was never a viable rationale for removing the Taliban, given the money and hijackers were all supposedly from Saudi Arabia.

Why some in the US middle class, MSM and political domain, etc., and elsewhere in the world, still can't see the catastrophic problem with attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan, when it was all officially done by Saudis, using Saudi money, and Saudi organizations, and Saudi leadership, can only be put down to impossible levels of stupidity and grand denial.

Oh dear, little dubya made a wittle boo-boo. Oops, such gross stupidity could have happened to anyone. But hey, while we're here, ya know, let's have a really stupid war anyway. And so it went. From pathological disaster, to psychopathic insanity. The troops may return, but the damage from this will roll on for decades.

And what the hell was Iran supposed to do? They did what anyone else would have done. They resisted a regional invader! If the Chinese ever did within South East Asia what the US and NATO just did in the ME, we'd also develop nukes and target every fucking city in China and sink every damned PLAN ship within missile, mine and torpedo reach! But Iran merely sought to deter further idiotic escalation by the belligerent dull-minded clusterfucks of pure clownishness in Washington, and euro-capitals.

So I'd maybe give the Iranian leadership a Congressional Medal of Honor plus a Nobel Peace Prize, as they at least maybe earned them and did for the US people a great service, via saving many other Americans and Europeans from a far worse situation, that was clearly rapidly developing during 2013.


But of course, that stark reality is still way too indigestible ... for the present.

tickhound's picture

And so there you have it bitchez... No GOD shall come before the Almighty PONZI himself.

Freddie's picture

The Taliban was banking on Apple going to $1,000 and they have been trading on Cramer's picks.