In addition to putting tens of thousands of U.S. lives in danger – not to mention tens of thousands of U.S. allies – the Biden administration has left the Taliban with, perhaps, the greatest gift of all: billions of dollars in military grade vehicles, weapons and tech.
“Everything that hasn’t been destroyed is the Taliban’s now,” one U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
So what was destroyed? Not much. Ol’ Joe tossed Taliban leaders the keys to 2,000 armored vehicles, including U.S. Humvees and Black Hawk helicopters. In some cases, military equipment was even left unguarded. According to the Associated Press, the U.S left Bagram Airfield in the middle of the night without alerting the new Afghan Commander.
“Before the Afghan army could take control of the airfield about an hour’s drive from the Afghan capital Kabul, it was invaded by a small army of looters, who ransacked barrack after barrack and rummaged through giant storage tents before being evicted, according to Afghan military officials,” AP News reported.
Not exactly a confidence booster. Who’s watching these weapons? And how many are there?
According to Reuters, over the last 20 years the United States has given the Afghan military an estimated $28 billion in infantry weapons including M16 assault rifles, 162,000 pieces of communication equipment, and 16,000 night-vision goggle devices.
But now, all that belongs to the Taliban.
While night-vision goggles may be the least dangerous item on that list, they are actually a big boon for the Taliban. “The ability to operate at night is a real game-changer,” one congressional aide told Reuters.
And, of course, when Biden blunders China inevitably enters the conversation.
“U.S. officials said the expectation was that most of the weapons would be used by the Taliban themselves, but it was far too early to tell what they planned to do – including possibly sharing the equipment with rival states such as China,” Reuters reported.
Way to go, Joe.