August 30, 2021

ROGER KIMBALL: What We Left Behind in Afghanistan.

Just a couple of weeks ago, all of that war-making matériel had been the property of two entities.

Some belonged to U.S. forces themselves.

A lot of it belonged to the U.S.-supplied Afghan government that was—the mighty 300,000 man-strong force that, on July 8, President Joe Biden said would prevail over the Taliban if push came to shove.

Push did come to shove, as we all know, and now those vast stores of military hardware are under sole control of the Taliban.

There have been several differing inventories of these stockpiles. One just published in the London Times provides perhaps the most authoritative accounting published to date.

Scattered in seven Afghan army garrisons across the country, from Kabul and Kandahar to Herat, Mazar-Sharif, Kunduz, these arms depots include an impressive amount of U.S. military hardware: 22,174 armored Humvees, for example, 42 pickup trucks and SUVS, 64,363 machine guns, 162,043 radios. 16,035 night vision goggles, 358,530 assault rifles (the real ones, not the “assault rifles” that Joe Biden warns about at home), 126,295 pistols, and 176 artillery pieces.

And that’s just for starters. The U.S. also generously left behind more than 100 helicopters, including 33 Blackhawks, 4 C-130 transport planes, and some 60 other fixed-wing aircraft.

There was also oodles of ammunition to go along with all the loot.

The question that has not really been pressed about this rather awe-inspiring armory is, why?

Read the whole thing. Here’s the above list of booty in graphic form:

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