KABUL, Afghanistan – The United States provided more than $7 billion worth of military equipment to the former Afghan government, according to sources, much of it ended up in the hands of the Islamic Emirate after the US troops withdrawal and the sudden collapse of the country.
The majority of the outlay, according to a report from the Defense Department’s inspector general released on Tuesday, went into tactical ground vehicles like MRAPs and Humvees, which cost about $4.12 billion when the Islamic Emirate took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021.
“The DoD estimated that US-funded equipment valued at $7.12 billion was in the inventory of the former Afghan government when it collapsed, much of which has since been seized by the Taliban,” the report wrote. “This included military aircraft, ground vehicles, weapons, and other military equipment.”
The report also said that 316,260 small arms — including rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and howitzers — worth $511.8 million were under the care of the Afghan military at the time of its collapse, as the New York Post reported.
Communications, explosive detection, night-vision and other surveillance equipment was also in the Kabul government’s inventory when the Taliban took over.
“The condition of these items was unknown, and the long-term operability of the vehicles was likely to deteriorate without US contractor maintenance,” the report elaborated. “The US military removed or destroyed nearly all major equipment used by US troops in Afghanistan throughout the drawdown period in 2021.”
Meanwhile, military experts urge the US-provided military equipment should be preserved in good condition under the Islamic Emirate rule, saying it’s the sole property of Afghan people to be sued for security purposes.
“The military equipment of America, which is in the hands of the Islamic Emirate, should be kept properly, because it is the property of the Afghan people, and it should be used for the security and peace of Afghanistan,” said Yousuf Amin, military expert, as TOLOnews quoted.
Between 2005 and 2021, the Defense Department spent around $84 billion in security assistance to Afghan forces, with $18.6 billion going to buying weapons for the Afghan National Army, Afghan Air Force, Afghan National Police, and Afghan Special Security Forces.
Over those 16 years, the watchdog found, the US spent $612 million on 427,300 weapons “including 258,300 rifles, 6,300 sniper rifles, 64,300 pistols, 56,155 machine guns, 31,000 rocket propelled grenade launchers, and 224 howitzers.”
The inspector general’s report comes amid Republican criticism of President Biden’s handling of the military pullout on its anniversary.