Taliban took Afghanistan but face cash squeeze

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Taliban face a major challenge in cementing control of Afghanistan: Money. The military blitz that enabled the Taliban to retake Afghanistan did not extend to finances. The Afghan Central Bank’s holdings are almost entirely abroad and can’t be accessed by the Taliban. The International Monetary Fund has also denied the Taliban access to $450 million that was to be distributed August 23. That gives the U.S. a potential leverage point as evacuations proceed from the airport in the capital of Kabul. Tens of thousands of people remain to be evacuated ahead of the United States’ August 31 deadline to withdraw its troops from the country.