There are many shameful chapters to President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, from the president yielding to the Taliban to leaving U.S. military service dogs behind, but the most egregious chapter is that the president broke his vow to the American people not to abandon U.S. citizens in Kabul.
A close second to leaving Americans behind in a country now controlled by the brutal Taliban may be the abandoning of $85 billion of the best military equipment and weapons in the world — enough to make the Taliban one of the better-equipped armies in the world.
Not only are the Taliban now emboldened by the effective surrender by a U.S. president, but their willingness to fight as a result of the arsenal Biden left behind is also “now on steroids.”
That’s according to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who appeared on Fox Business Network to detail the largesse Biden gifted to the Taliban.
“You know what we left behind — $85 billion worth of weapons, MRAPs, tanks, Black Hawk helicopters. We left money behind, arms,” the senator said.
(Video: Fox Business)
MRAPs refers to mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles that typically have “V”-shaped hulls to deflect explosions from land mines or IEDs below the vehicle.
“The amazing thing, they already have a funding network,” Barrasso said, speaking of the Taliban. “They have a criminal network of drugs and human trafficking. Plus the Taliban, along with ISIS, al-Qaida, they now have a willingness to fight that’s now on steroids after the fact they now have the entire country of Afghanistan to use as a platform in which to attack the United States.”
The GOP lawmaker was adamant that the execution of the withdrawal was “terribly” done.
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., U.S. CENTCOM commander, acknowledged that Americans were left behind, saying he believes that number to be in the “very low hundreds.”
He also commented on the military hardware left in country, saying “some” of it had been disabled.
“We demilitarized some of it,” McKenzie said Monday at a press conference, naming the C-RAM rocket intercept system and other equipment.
“It’s a complex procedure to break down those systems. So we demilitarized those systems so that they’ll never be used again. And we felt it more important to protect our forces than to bring those systems back,” he stated. “We have also demilitarized equipment that we did not bring out of the airport. That included a number of MRAPs — up to 70 MRAPs that we demilitarized that will never be used again by anyone; 27 Humvees, that little tactical vehicle, that will never be driven again. And additionally, on the ramp at HKIA are a total of 73 aircraft. Those aircraft will never fly again when we left. They’ll never be able to be operated by anyone. Most of them were non-mission capable, to begin with, but certainly they’ll never be able to be flown again.”
But that’s just scratching the surface of what was left to the Taliban, as seen in the graphic below from The Telegraph:
A mind-blowing graphic in today's Times on what $85bn worth of lost equipment means in practice for the Taliban: pic.twitter.com/GDcuNQbb6P
— Will Brown (@_Will_Brown) August 29, 2021
A video making the rounds online allegedly shows a group of Taliban fighters wearing U.S. gear inspecting their newfound bounty at the airport in Kabul.
To call it an utter embarrassment doesn’t even begin to describe the humiliating clip:
#Taliban fighters enter a hangar in #Kabul Airport and examine #chinook helicopters after #US leaves #Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/flJx0cLf0p
— Nabih (@nabihbulos) August 30, 2021
Former President Donald Trump released a statement blasting the White House for the debacle.
“Never in history has a withdrawal from war been handled so badly or incompetently as the Biden Administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the statement said. “In addition to the obvious, ALL EQUIPMENT should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost. If it is not handed back, we should either go in with unequivocal Military force and get it, or at least bomb the hell out of it. Nobody ever thought such stupidity, as this feeble-brained withdrawal, was possible!”
"and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost. If it is not handed back, we should either go in w/unequivocal Military force and get it, or at least bomb the hell out of it. Nobody ever thought such stupidity, as this feeble-brained withdrawal, was possible!"
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) August 30, 2021
Fox Business host Larry Kudlow said the administration should designate the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization and not recognize their government to “keep them away from monetary resources.”
He also said the U.S. should work with private groups working to get the remaining Americans out of Afghanistan.
Barrasso said denying the Taliban access to the IMF and the World Bank is important, but it’s “just window dressing.”
“The terrorists have the big prize which is the country, in which to operate,” he said.
As for whether Biden understands this, Barrasso concluded, “What the world is now witnessing, is a weak and wobbly president of the United States unable to cope with the issues of 2021.”
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