As President Joe Biden prepares for his demoralizing prime-time Thursday lecture about “how awful we are,” as my RedState colleague Bob Hoge wrote about here, and after wrapping up his defamatory anti-MAGA gun control speech in Pennsylvania on Monday, the backdrop to POTUS’ remarks will still be incompetence and disregard for America’s interests.
The Department of Defense Inspector General’s report released earlier this month puts US taxpayer-funded military equipment that fell into the hands of the Taliban upon Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in fiscal clarity. While nearly all of the military equipment that was in use by US troops was removed or destroyed, $7.12 billion worth of US taxpayer-supplied inventory was in the possession of Afghanistan’s former government prior to its collapse. The DODIG’s office admits that much of that equipment has been seized by the Taliban. The Taliban’s acquired war chest includes military aircraft, ground vehicles, weapons, and other military equipment.
Previous reports from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) detail specifics. More than thirty operable Black Hawk helicopters, dozens of other light aircraft, two thousand Humvees, seven thousand machine guns, twenty thousand grenades, thirteen hundred grenade launchers, and communications equipment were US-supplied and abandoned by the prior Afghani government. But, that’s not all. Americans provided more than 600,000 firearms, mostly M4 rifles, to Afghani forces; now visibly replacing the Russian-made AK-47 rifles carried by Taliban fighters throughout the 20-year war.
The world watched in shock as the Taliban paraded with their new weapons cache just over one year ago. Now the Taliban have made August 15 a national holiday, marking the date Taliban forces entered the capital city of Kabul and the US Embassy was evacuated, as shown in the infamous photo of a US Chinook helicopter hovering over the building.
The botched evacuation at the Kabul airport is forever marked by the loss of life of 13 American Military service members, attacked by a suicide bomber. My RedState colleague Nick Arama honored the sacrifices of the fallen troops in a piece titled, ‘Never Forget: 13 Members of the Military Who Gave That Last Full Measure of Devotion in Kabul‘.
To further demonstrate how disastrous US evacuations were, exclusive reporting by RedState’s Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar detailed how US Maj. General Donahue ordered between 50 and 100 evacuees off of one of the last planes out of Kabul to make room for a war trophy, a confiscated Toyota Hilux. At the time, Col Joe Buccino told RedState that the modified pickup truck was to serve as,
“(a symbol) of how the Division came into a chaotic situation and by confiscating the Hilux from the Taliban we quickly regained the tactical advantage in order to complete the mission.”
Van Laar also revealed that two Counter Rocket Mortar Artillary (C-RAM) systems were left behind at the Kabul Airport and, despite claims the C-RAMS were allegedly “disabled” before the last five C-17s took flight, that wasn’t the case, writing,
Despite what the unnamed defense official told Defense One and what Gen. McKenzie said in a press conference, sources say that troops were ordered to remote detonate the C-RAMs once the last flights were in the air but that the detonators failed, leaving the C-RAMs fully operable. One intelligence community source said that aerial photographs of the C-RAM location taken since the withdrawal do not show any evidence of destruction.
The claim that fully operational C-RAMs fell into the Taliban regime’s hands raises multiple security concerns and questions. Firstly, as Van Laar reported, leaving the equipment intact could lead to significant software and hardware discoveries that could be used by the Taliban and other adversaries to develop warfare technologies that leave every western Navy ship vulnerable.
I highly suggest reading Van Laar’s full story: EXCLUSIVE: Maj Gen Ordered 50+ Evacuees off One of Last Flights out of Kabul to Make Room for Taliban Souvenir
Other concerns raised by the failure to destroy abandoned military equipment include the sale and transfer of military machinery and weapons to be used against allied forces around the globe. The threat of US equipment used against allied forces was seen in 2014 when the Islamic State, ISIS, seized a $600 million weapons cache in Mosul, Iraq. This led to a year-long campaign from the US Air Force to destroy the equipment by airstrikes. The American Conservative quotes author and former US State Department employee, Peter Van Buren:
“a surreal state of affairs in which American weaponry is being sent into Iraq to destroy American weaponry previously sent into Iraq,”
This month’s DODIG report confirms that the US has no plans to “retrieve or destroy” the $7.12 billion worth of equipment left to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
As we prepare for President Biden to tell Americans about how untrustworthy they are with their personal firearms, and how 70 million Trump voters represent semi-fascist MAGA domestic terrorists, let’s remember who is responsible for the growing national and global security threats stemming from the irresponsible Afghanistan evacuation a little over a year ago. Let’s be reminded that articles of impeachment for Biden’s mishandling of the evacuation have been drafted by GOP House Representatives who are waiting with bated breath to hold the Commander in Chief accountable. Biden’s midterm campaign side-shows will not undo the reputational and security harms to America, but there is hope that voters demand America First interests be pushed to the forefront at the ballot box this November.