(TheConservativeNews.org) – The U.S. left behind more than $7.2 billion of military equipment in Taliban-run Afghanistan during its chaotic withdrawal in 2021, according to a government watchdog.
“Nearly $7.2 billion worth of aircraft, guns, vehicles, ammunition, and specialized equipment like night vision goggles and biometric devices remain in the country,” the Department of Defense said last March in a report submitted to Congress, according to a report published in February by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the federal watchdog group that monitors U.S. expenditures in the country.
The report, titled “Why the Afghan Security Forces Collapsed,” found that at “least 78 aircraft worth $923.3 million, 9,524 air-to-ground munitions valued at $6.54 million, over 40,000 vehicles, more than 300,000 weapons, and nearly all night vision, surveillance, communications, and biometric equipment provided to the [Afghan defense forces] were left behind.”
The report comes as the House Foreign Affairs Committee opened its public probe of the military evacuation.
“It was often referred to like ‘Schindler’s List.’ If you’re on the list, you made it out alive. If you weren’t, you didn’t,” said Chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
“What happened in Afghanistan was a systemic breakdown of the federal government at every level, and a stunning, stunning failure of leadership by the Biden administration.”
The SIGAR group also assessed that “the operational condition of $5.7 billion worth of abandoned weapons, ground vehicles, communications equipment, and specialized equipment including night vision, surveillance, biometric, and positioning equipment is unknown.”
The Pentagon told SIGAR investigators that there “currently is no realistic way to retrieve the materiel that remains in Afghanistan, given that the United States does not recognize the Taliban as a government.”
Taliban units now “patrol in pickup trucks and armored vehicles likely procured by the U.S.,” according to the report, and Taliban-run special operations forces also “wear helmets with night vision mounts likely provided by the United States and carry U.S.-provided M4 rifles equipped with advanced gunsights.”
The SIGAR report also said the Taliban continues to encourage former Afghan military pilots to join its air force and fly abandoned U.S. planes.
“The pilots working for the Taliban reportedly need jobs and say the Taliban are the most reliable employer in Afghanistan.”
If only Biden would have taken his own advise on what would have to happen to withdrawal from Afghanistan. When Biden was running for President in 2007, he laid out the risk of leaving Afghanistan the way in which his administration executed the withdrawal.
Amy Mitchell, former senior official at the Pentagon and State Department, said, “On August 17, 2021, as chaos engulfed Afghanistan, President Biden literally said, ‘I am president of the United States and the buck stops with me.'”
“The new report from SIGAR, however, unequivocally demonstrates this administration’s utter lack of responsibility and accountability for the precipitous withdrawal,” Mitchell added.
“There are, and will continue to be, a lot of finger pointing as more investigations and reports are released,” she said.
“But in the end, as the report shows, it was the Biden Administration’s decision to leave Afghanistan unprepared, while giving the country — and millions in US military equipment — to the Taliban,” she added.
“Driven by the false and publicity hungry deadline of the 20th anniversary of September 11, the Biden administration used poor judgement, poor planning, and are now pointing the finger at others in what is undeniably the worst US foreign policy failure in more than half a century,” Mitchell said.