More than $7B in US military equipment seized by Taliban: Pentagon watchdog

More than B in US military equipment seized by Taliban: Pentagon watchdog

Posted For: Willie Wonka


More than $7 billion worth of US-provided military equipment was in the hands of the Western-backed Afghan government when it collapsed last year — and much of it fell into the hands of the Taliban after the Biden bugout, the Defense Department’s inspector general said in a report released Tuesday.

The bulk of the outlay, the watchdog said, was for tactical ground vehicles like Humvees and mine-resistant MRAPs — about $4.12 billion of which was in the Afghan military’s inventory when the Taliban swept into Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021.

The report also noted that the lost materiel included $923.3 million worth of military aircraft, “some of which were demilitarized and rendered inoperable during the evacuation,” and $294.6 million in aircraft munitions.

Taliban fighters from the Fateh Zwak unit, wielding American supplied weapons, equipment and uniforms, storm into the Kabul International Airport

The IG’s office added that the Pentagon’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, which provided the figures, had claimed that “the Afghan forces were heavily reliant on U.S. contractor support to maintain both their aircraft and ground vehicle fleets, and without this continued support, the long-term operability of these assets would be limited.”

The report also said that 316,260 small arms — including rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and howitzers — worth $511.8 million were under the care of the Afghan military at the time of its collapse, but the condition of those weapons was unknown.

Faith Zwak movement
The report also stated that the US military had “removed nearly all major equipment” during the pullout, except for some tactical vehicles that transferred to the Afghan ministry of defense at the beginning of last year, as well as other obsolete vehicles that were destroyed.“[S]mall quantities” of equipment that could not be removed from Kabul’s airport before the US completed its withdrawal Aug. 30 were also destroyed or rendered unusable, the watchdog found.

Between 2005 and 2021, the Defense Department spent around $84 billion in security assistance to Afghan forces, with $18.6 billion going to buying weapons for the Afghan National Army, Afghan Air Force, Afghan National Police, and Afghan Special Security Forces.

Over those 16 years, the watchdog found, the US spent $612 million on 427,300 weapons “including 258,300 rifles, 6,300 sniper rifles, 64,300 pistols, 56,155 machine guns, 31,000 rocket propelled grenade launchers, and 224 howitzers.”

The inspector general’s report comes amid Republican criticism of President Biden’s handling of the military pullout on its anniversary.

GOP lawmakers have accused the administration of “misleading” the American people and have vowed to get answers from the White House if they regain control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.

The Republicans are also preparing their own report on the chaotic withdrawal this week that faults the administration for “catastrophic flaws” in devising the pullout plan that allowed the Taliban to return to power and give al Qaeda another foothold in the war-torn country.

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