Pictures of Taliban fighters waving American M4 carbines and M16 rifles in military Humvee jeeps will give you a sarcastic grin, but the White House is no laughing matter. The United States lost the 20 Years War. And comparisons with the Vietnam War are inevitable. But the situation is even worse now.
Afghanistan has become a disgrace to the Biden administration and the Pentagon in a matter of months. And the point is not only that the Americans fled in haste and panic - never before in wars did the enemy receive such a huge arsenal of the defeated without a fight. The Taliban easily seized tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons, military equipment, and equipment left by the United States in Afghanistan. And now footage of bearded men flaunting near the Black Hawk helicopters will pursue Biden throughout his cadence. It’s not even about the undermined prestige of the United States as a world superpower, although this cannot be avoided. The point is that America in an instant armed the Taliban regime better than most armies in the world is equipped.
Congressman Jim Banks said there are 75,000 vehicles, 200 aircraft and helicopters, and 600,000 small arms and light weapons among the vast amount of equipment and weapons left behind in Afghanistan.
Of course, Banks is exaggerating. Some of the equipment was removed by the Americans, some were destroyed, some left along with those soldiers of the Afghan army who did not surrender and went to Panjshir to resist. But all the same, these numbers are amazing. Compare the scale: the United States handed over about 300 Hummers to Ukraine, and there are 22,000 of them left in Afghanistan!
The American media has already estimated that every US citizen has donated $ 265 to replenish the terrorists' arsenal.
It is one thing to lose weapons and equipment in battles, and quite another to leave them to the enemy on a silver platter. The Americans had a year to take out the equipment. But the Pentagon and the CIA decided that the Afghan army would not surrender the country so weakly. In addition, all this military equipment has been coming to Afghanistan for years, and it is very difficult to take it out of the landlocked country. When the fall of power in Afghanistan became apparent, the Americans blew up their arsenals. But the fact that a significant number of weapons and vehicles were left intact to the enemy indicates a lack of clear planning for the withdrawal of troops.
The Taliban actually had American weapons before - the Afghan corrupt military secretly sold them to militants on the black market. However, if earlier most of the Taliban were armed with an AK-47 - a cult submachine gun since the Soviet invasion, now on the streets of Kabul almost all militants are armed with American M4 carbines and M16 rifles with expensive optics and laser sights. The Taliban simply opened up arsenals in strongholds abandoned by the Afghan army and American military strongholds.
The Pentagon does not yet know how many weapons the enemy has seized, but officials have already expressed concern about the amount. According to preliminary estimates, the Taliban have several Black Hawk helicopters and about 40 US military aircraft, including ScanEagle military drones. According to American media sources, for example, about 20 A-29 Tucano attack aircraft, which did not manage to evacuate from a military base in Kandahar, could have fallen into the hands of militants. According to the video from Afghanistan, the Taliban are also mastering American artillery.
Assess the level of ownership of the situation by American officials. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that "the Taliban probably will not return US military property." Yes, they probably won't.
As the American publications write, at the moment the United States has no plans to destroy weapons using airstrikes or other means - the Americans intend to protect exclusively the airport. And this is seen as an agreement between the White House and the Taliban.
There is one more way that the United States has already followed - the purchase of weapons. In the 1980s, Washington armed the mujahideen with Stingers, state-of-the-art portable surface-to-air missiles that were perfect against Soviet Mi-24 attack helicopters. When the USSR withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, Washington decided to return the Stingers, as the United States feared that these complexes would be used for terrorist attacks or fall into the hands of a hostile government. The CIA offered the Mujahideen $ 100,000 for the Stinger, just to return the complexes. When the Taliban took over Kabul in 1996, about 600 of the 2,300 Stingers provided by the CIA during the Soviet-Afghan war simply disappeared. They say that Iran was actively buying them from the Taliban.
Today, the Taliban simply do not need all these huge arsenals. And they will sell equipment on the black market. US intelligence reports that paramilitary organizations such as the Haqqani Network have previously engaged in the supply of weapons from Afghanistan to the Middle East, Africa, and even Southeast Asia. Surely, small arms will spread throughout the region and may fall into the hands of ISIS, but helicopters and planes that the Taliban cannot serve will be looking for buyers in Tehran, Moscow, and Beijing.
But a few years ago, so that technology would not fall into the hands of the enemy, the Americans carried out special operations to destroy their modern helicopters that fell in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And today they voluntarily left them intact.
Today, the Taliban have flooded the Internet with videos of American trophies left behind. This is done for the purpose of propaganda - units in turbans walking in Afghan cities, armed to the teeth with American weapons, intensify criticism of the Biden administration's decision to withdraw troops. Arrows are being fired at Biden from the capitals of the US allies, and the American media are simply destroying their president for such an escape. This is despite the fact that the American society as a whole has a negative attitude towards the American presence in the Asian country.
The Taliban's victory and armament inspire other jihadist and radical Islamist groups to resist America. And the countries - neighbors of Afghanistan, against the background of the threat, will strengthen ties with Moscow and Beijing for the sake of their own security.