Within this month’s international humiliation in Afghanistan, one aspect seems unforgivable and visually repugnant: the Taliban procuring and now utilizing hundreds of millions of dollars in American military materiel.
“The bounty of U.S.-provided weapons and vehicles, long paraded by Taliban insurgents after capturing or stealing them from Afghan forces, has grown to alarming proportions, well beyond the ability of U.S. officials to casually dismiss,” the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
While the seizure of advanced aircraft is solely propagandistic — since terrorists cannot operate those without training — armored vehicles, helicopters, heavy weapons, night-vision goggles, tactical gloves, and myriad items emblazoned in familiar U.S. camouflage patterns, are vital to the enemy, figuratively and literally.
“Taliban soldiers want to emphasize the defeat of those Afghan forces we backed,” an Afghan War veteran and retired U.S. Army Major explained to PJ Media Thursday. “The Taliban, and especially the Haqqani guerillas, want to appear as intimidating as possible, which means emulating the style of American troops.”
While forces helping the arduous effort to evacuate Americans and our allies from Kabul Airport hope to destroy or reclaim such equipment, it seems quixotic.
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby claimed that transporting evacuees remains the priority, meaning Washington can do little about most hardware stolen by the Taliban.
“We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly, a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan recently confessed to reporters.
It all seems par for the course from an administration that ignored advice, common sense, and now is inexplicably kowtowing to the enemy.