KABUL, Afghanistan (November 30, 2017) — Afghan and U.S. operations against Taliban sources of revenue have set the Taliban back approximately $11 million since Nov. 19.
Combined airstrikes and raids by special operations forces have targeted Taliban revenue streams, especially narcotics facilities in Helmand province. These operations are the result of unprecedented cooperation between Afghan and U.S. forces, as well as the new authorities granted under the U.S. South Asia policy.
"These strikes were just the first step in attacking the Taliban's financial engine, and they will continue,” General John Nicholson, commander, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said in a briefing to Pentagon reporters Nov. 28.
Afghan and U.S. Special Forces conducted ground operations in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province to disrupt funding streams and lethal aid facilitation operations of the Taliban. The Afghan Special Security Forces conducting these raids destroyed thousands of kilograms of narcotics and homemade explosives materials, removing nearly $2 million in revenue from the Taliban.
Airstrikes by the Afghan Air Force, together with U.S. Air Forces Central Command, have destroyed multiple narcotics facilities and, on Nov. 21, a large homemade explosives facility, containing explosive materials that would have been used to kill or maim the Afghan people. These airstrikes have removed an estimated $9 million in revenue from the Taliban while reducing the Taliban’s offensive capability.
"In the face of this pressure, the Taliban cannot win,” Nicholson said. "Their choices are to reconcile, live in irrelevance, or die.”