The Taliban has seized US weapons left in Afghanistan price billions — presumably together with 600,000 assault rifles, some 2,000 armored automobiles, and 40 plane, together with Black Hawks, in keeping with studies.
The US gave the Afghan army an estimated $28 billion in weaponry between 2002 and 2017 — together with seven model new helicopters delivered to Kabul only a month in the past.
The conflict chest additionally included the provision of at the very least 600,000 infantry weapons — together with M16 assault rifles — in addition to 162,000 items of communication tools and 16,000 night-vision goggles.
In simply two years from 2017 to 2019, the US gave 7,035 machine weapons, 4,702 Humvees, 20,040 hand grenades, 2,520 bombs and 1,394 grenade launchers, The Hill famous, citing a report final 12 months from the Particular Inspector Normal for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
“Every part that hasn’t been destroyed is the Taliban’s now,” one US official advised Reuters, talking on the situation of anonymity.
Admitting the weaponry seizures, Nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan stated Tuesday that the White Home doesn’t “have an entire image” of what “has fallen into the fingers of the Taliban.”
However the present evaluation is that it contains 2,000 armored automobiles, together with US Humvees, and as much as 40 plane, probably together with UH-60 Black Hawks, scout assault helicopters, and ScanEagle army drones, one other official advised Reuters.
Movies have already captured Taliban fighters triumphantly opening crates of seized weapons, together with US-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles, The Hill reported. They’ve additionally been noticed with US Humvees.
The conflict chest will give the Taliban an enormous benefit in quashing resistance.
US officers additionally concern that the weapons of conflict could possibly be handed to US adversaries like China and Russia — and even to extra terror teams like ISIS.
“This poses a big menace to the US and our allies,” Rep. Michael McCaul, the highest Republican on the U.S. Home of Representatives Overseas Affairs Committee, advised Reuters.
President Biden’s administration has not dominated out airstrikes to destroy the bigger tools just like the helicopters — however fears it is going to antagonize the Taliban whereas persons are nonetheless being evacuated, sources advised Reuters.
On Wednesday, greater than two dozen Republican senators demanded a “full account” of what’s been seized — and what plans are in place to get it again.
“It’s unconscionable that high-tech army tools paid for by US taxpayers has fallen into the fingers of the Taliban and their terrorist allies,” the 25 senators advised Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Of best concern is their management of plane. The US gave Afghan forces greater than 200, in keeping with the U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO).
As many as 50 had been believed to have been utilized by Afghan pilots to flee the Taliban, who this week demanded their return. However the remaining inventory included Black Hawks, which had been presupposed to be the Afghan army’s greatest benefit over the Taliban.
It has left US officers clinging to the hope that the plane will show too difficult to keep up and fly for the Taliban to make use of successfully — with a pacesetter this week admitting the group didn’t have skilled pilots.
“Sarcastically, the truth that our tools breaks down so typically is a life-saver right here,” a 3rd official advised Reuters.
However simply having night-vision goggles — of which the US has given at the very least 16,000 since 2003 — is a big benefit.
“The flexibility to function at night time is an actual game-changer,” one congressional aide advised Reuters.
Regardless of how the Taliban makes use of all of it, it’s already an enormous embarrassment for the US.
“Clearly, that is an indictment of the US safety cooperation enterprise broadly,” Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Heart for Worldwide Coverage’s Safety Help Monitor, advised The Hill.
“It actually ought to elevate plenty of considerations about what’s the wider enterprise that is happening each single day, whether or not that’s within the Center East, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia.”
With Put up wires