Biden Just Made The Taliban The Most Well Equipped Militancy In The World
When the Taliban overtook Afghanistan, they also found a weapons stockpile worth tens of billions of dollars that had been abandoned by the United States.
According to a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the United States invested nearly $83 billion into the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, with more than $24 billion of that amount going toward funding weapons, vehicles, and other equipment.
The Taliban is believed to have stolen dozens of aircraft, including Blackhawk helicopters, and thousands of vehicles, communications equipment, and weaponry in the aftermath of the disruption.
“No one has any accounting of exactly what survived the last weeks of the collapse and fell into Taliban hands, and even before the collapse, SIGAR had publicly reported no accounting was possible in many districts,” Center for Strategic and International Studies analyst Anthony Cordesman told The Washington Post.
“In rough terms, however, if the ANDSF could not sustain it without foreign contractors, the Taliban will have very serious problems in operating it,” he continued. “That covers most aircraft and many electronics and heavier weapons.”
In total, the United States is estimated to have provided more than 599,690 arms to the ANDSF since 2004, including rifles, pistols, machine guns, and rocket-propelled weapons, as well as thousands of pieces of surveillance equipment, night-vision goggles, and radio monitoring systems, and more than 208 aircraft, including helicopters, cargo planes, fighter jets, and surveillance drones.
As recently as July, President Joe Biden asserted that the Afghan army would be able to endure Taliban offensives because the United States had provided it with “all of the tools, training, and equipment available to any modern military.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, several analysts have also argued that the billions of money spent on training Afghan forces may be exploited by the Taliban in an indirect manner. Based on their behavior, it seems likely that several Taliban members seen in recent videos posted online were taught by the United States military.
— Nabih (@nabihbulos) August 30, 2021
“The stance, the way they’re holding the rifles, the trigger finger, how it’s flat and laying outside the trigger guard,” Project on Government Oversight defense policy analyst Dan Grazier told the LA Times. “That’s a hallmark American military training right there.”