The New York Times reported today that a variety of sources are providing funds for the Taliban war chest. It is reported that the funds come from illicit drugs, ransoms, foreign donations and other illegal measures from around the world. Taliban leaders have sent fundraisers to Arab countries to continue their cause. They are also taxing the cultivation of opium to raise funds, despite U.S. efforts to stop such measures.

“Despite efforts by the United States and its allies in the last year to cripple the Taliban’s financing, using the military and intelligence, American officials acknowledge they barely made a dent. ‘I don’t believe we can significantly alter their effectiveness by cutting off their money right now,’ said Representative Adam Smith, a Washington State Democrat on the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committees who traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan last month. ‘I’m not saying we shouldn’t try. It’s just bigger and more complex than we can effectively stop’. ”

The Times reported that “American officials say that they have been surprised to learn in recent months that foreign donations, rather than opium, are the single largest source of cash for the Taliban.”

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