Taliban Holds Parade Proudly Showing Off Weapons, Equipment Abandoned by U.S. Government

Taliban Holds Parade Proudly Showing Off Weapons, Equipment Abandoned by U.S. Government

AP Images

The Taliban, the erstwhile enemy in the United States’ 20-year war in Afghanistan — a war that resulted in the death of 2,456 American military members and the wounding of over 20,000 more servicemen — is training their soldiers to use the weapons and vehicles left behind when the Biden administration ordered the withdrawal of all American forces from the country in August 2021.

report issued by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) revealed that Taliban forces held a military parade with dozens of U.S.-provided armored vehicles and Mi-17 helicopters flying overhead:

“The Taliban is using U.S.-provided ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security
Forces] equipment for its own training and operations. As part of its robust propaganda campaign, the Taliban has advertised U.S.-acquired equipment— including armored vehicles and military aircraft—in videos of military parades and in training videos.”

That must be salt in the wound of the men, women, and children who lost wives, husbands, sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in the U.S. war against the group to whom we handed over command of the country, the same people we sacrificed those lives to oust.

Imagine the reaction in the United States if in 1945 the Truman administration had announced that in order to foster stability in postwar Germany we would be handing over control of Germany to the Nazi party!

Then, imagine the Nazis holding a parade featuring weapons and vehicles abandoned by the American armed forces.

That’s exactly what happened in Afghanistan!

Just read this account of Taliban activities taken directly from the SIGAR report:

Following the Afghan government’s collapse, a proliferation of images and videos showed Taliban soldiers wearing U.S.-provided clothing and brandishing U.S.-provided rifles. Taliban units now patrol in pickup trucks and armored vehicles likely procured by the U.S. and provided to the ANDSF. Taliban special operations troops, known as Badri 313 units, wear helmets with night vision mounts likely provided by the United States, and carry U.S.-provided M4 rifles equipped with advanced gunsights. Khalil Haqqani, a senior Taliban leader, carried a U.S.-provided rifle as he attended prayers at a mosque in Kabul following the collapse. These examples illustrate the extent to which the group has put their newly acquired arsenal to use, and shows that the Taliban are now equipped with material that was provided to defeat them.

Do you know anyone who lost loved ones in the war to liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban? How do you think they would respond to these reports of the Taliban training to use equipment and weapons left behind by the Biden administration?

How about this revelation, taken from the same report:

Some U.S.-provided equipment was destroyed, moved to neighboring countries, or has been recovered. DOD removed some valuable and sensitive U.S.-provided equipment during July and August 2021. U.S. military personnel demilitarized equipment at Hamid Karzai International Airport during the withdrawal, including 80 aircraft, 70 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, and 27 Humvees. One senior Taliban leader claimed that the group has repaired half of the demilitarized aircraft, while another official suggested that only six Black Hawks have been restored. The Taliban is reportedly working to recruit former AAF [Afghan Air Force] personnel to reconstitute the air force. According to the Taliban air force commander and former AAF personnel, about 4,300 members, half of the former AAF, have joined the Taliban’s air force, including 33 pilots.

While the SIGAR report is lengthy and chronicles numerous unconscionable acts of the Taliban — all of which were made possible by the Biden administration’s ill-timed and poorly planned withdrawal from Afghanistan — there are many questions left unanswered.

American taxpayers and the families of servicemen and women wounded or killed in the war against the Taliban deserve to know why the Afghan government collapsed after trillions of dollars were given to them. We all deserve to know where the money went and how those responsible for the reprehensible results of the sudden surrender of weapons and vehicles and equipment have not been held accountable for their actions.

Joe Wolverton II, J.D., is the author of the books The Real James Madison and “What Degree of Madness?”: Madison’s Method to Make America STATES Again. His latest book — The Founders’ Recipe — provides selections from the 37 authors most often quoted by the Founding Generation. He hosts the YouTube channel “Teacher of Liberty” and the Instagram account of the same name.

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