Tim Craig of the Washington Post reports that:
Afghanistan’s central government is nearly broke and needs a $537 million bailout from the United States and other international donors within “five or six days” to continue paying its bills, a senior Afghan finance official said Tuesday.
The country is going bust in the traditional fashion, as described by Hemingway's character in The Sun Also Rises. "Two ways, gradually and then suddenly”
In the short term:
Officials blame the financial woes on the ongoing stalemate over who won the election to replace outgoing President Hamid Karzai.
Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the U.S. government has appropriated $104 billion rebuilding and supporting the Afghan government, military and public services, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction [who] said in a speech last week at Georgetown University.
“The bottom line: It appears we’ve created a government that the Afghans simply cannot afford."