After taking control of Afghanistan, the US military equipment in the hands of the Taliban will make this terrorist organization more lethal than before. From US military officials to lawmakers, there have been concerns that the Taliban has now equipped the Afghan army with deadly aircraft and weapons from the US to even technology to assist in night attacks.
Just a month ago, Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry shared a picture of 7 new helicopters arriving from the US to Kabul on social media. A few days later, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the media at the Pentagon that we will continue this kind of cooperation.
Only a few weeks later, the Taliban have not only captured almost the entire country but have also lost weapons and equipment left by the Afghan army while fleeing.
Videos of Taliban militants inspecting a long queue of abandoned Afghan military vehicles and open boxes of new weapons, communication equipment, and even military drones are going viral. Pointing to these videos, a senior US military official said without anonymity, “Whatever hasn’t been destroyed now belongs to the Taliban.”
Michael McCaul, a member of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and top Republican lawmaker, says that we are already seeing US-made weapons in the hands of Taliban fighters, which they have snatched from the Afghan army. This is a great threat to America and our allies.
US officials concerns about technology getting into the hands of opposing countries
- Current and former US officials now worry that the lethal weapons held by the Taliban could be used to kill civilians.
- They can even reach out to other terrorist organizations like ISIS, which can use them against the US elsewhere in the region.
- Even these weapons from terrorist organizations can be used by all the opponents of America including China and Russia.
What weapons did Talibanis get?
- According to the current intelligence assessment of the US military, 2,000 military vehicles, including the US Humvee, are in the hands of the Taliban.
- They have 40 aircraft, including several deadly UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, including a Scout attack helicopter and a Scan Eagle military drone.
- US military officials say that the Black Hawk helicopter gave the Afghan army a huge strategic edge over the Taliban, but the Afghan army could not use it properly.
What did America give?
- Between 2002 and 2017, the US provided $28 billion in weapons, including guns, rockets, night-vision goggles, and small intelligence-gathering drones, to the Afghan military.
- According to the US Government Accountability Office, 208 aircraft and helicopters were delivered to the Afghan military between 2003 and 2016.
- Of these, 40 to 50 aircraft Afghan pilots managed to escape to Uzbekistan during the Taliban attack.
- US officials say a week before the attack on Kabul, the Taliban began a planned campaign to kill Afghan pilots.
Night fighting techniques can become a game-changer
- A US military official has said the most worrying is the night-vision goggles and communications equipment in the hands of the Taliban.
- He said the ability to fight at night could prove to be a real gamechanger.
- The US has supplied 16,000 night-vision goggles and 162,000 communications equipment to the Afghan military since 2003. Most of these are now under the control of the Taliban.
US weapons will also hit Panjshir heavy Taliban
- The 600,000 infantry weapons supplied by the US to Afghan forces, including the deadly M16 assault rifle, are now in Taliban custody. Retired General Joseph Votel, who headed the US Central Command overseeing military operations in Afghanistan from 2016 to 2019, sees the Taliban’s hand-held machine guns, mortars, and several howitzers as crucial in the civil war theThanksanks to this wealthy say that on, the Taliban can gain an advantage over rival groups in the Panjshir Valley, which is still not under its control.
America did not learn from 2014
- US military experts are surprised that their military has not learned from a mistake made in Iraq in 2014, where ISIS militants seized weapons supplied to Iraqi forces from US forces.
What are the options for the Biden administration now?
- The administration of US President Joe Biden now has very limited options to deal with this situation.
- According to officials, airstrikes can be carried out against large weapons such as helicopters, aircraft, but this worries the Taliban and at this time the primary goal of the US is to evacuate its people from there.
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Nikita Dhyani is a passionate writer. She basically writes on Health, Finance, and Politics related topics. She has explored many areas of interest and is being a part of the journalism industry.