Taliban’s spoils of war include US weapons and technology

Taliban’s spoils of war include US weapons and technology
·2 min read

In addition to overthrowing the Afghan government, the Taliban’s spoils include a litany of U.S. weapons and machinery.

As the Taliban marched through Afghanistan, swiftly defeating the U.S.-trained and -equipped Afghan military, photos and video posted to social media showed them posing with their new gear.

The Pentagon is unsure of what equipment fell into the hands of the Taliban via the Afghan forces.

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“I don't have an exact inventory of what equipment that the Afghans had at their disposal that now might be at risk," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said during Monday’s briefing. "Obviously, we don't want to see any weapons or systems to fall into hands of people that would use them in such a way to harm our interests or those of our partners and allies.”

Kirby, noting that the U.S. has a “vested interest, obviously,” in the matter, declined to share “any policy solutions,” though he said that “an awful lot of equipment, weapons [and] resources” had been removed from Afghanistan ahead of the final drawdown.

Military officials are “working through right now to try to get a better sense of what” previously U.S. equipment the Taliban has seized.

The U.S.-backed Afghan military possessed more than 150 aircraft before the Taliban took over, according to the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, who published a report last month.

The report detailed the inventory of the Afghan air force: Twenty-three usable A-29 “Super Tucano” turboprop ground-attack aircraft, 3 usable C-130 transport aircraft, 33 usable UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, and 43 smaller MD-530 choppers, among others.

It's unclear how many have been seized by the Taliban.

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The U.S. provided Afghan forces with a minimum of 600,000 infantry weapons, 162,000 pieces of communication equipment, and 16,000 night vision goggles since 2003, according to Reuters.

"We don't have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly, a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban," national security adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier this week.

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Tags: News, War in Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Defense, National Security, Pentagon, Taliban

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Taliban’s spoils of war include US weapons and technology

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