Taliban Captures Billions in US Military Equipment

Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance gate outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul on August 17, 2021. / Getty Images
August 19, 2021

The Taliban has seized billions of dollars' worth of U.S. military equipment amid the United States' chaotic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The terrorist group captured scores of U.S.-made weapons, including M4 carbines and M16 rifles, that the U.S. military provided to Afghan security forces, the Hill reported Thursday. After taking over the capital city of Kabul on Sunday, the Taliban also seized American military vehicles, including Black Hawk helicopters, attack aircraft, Humvees, and reconnaissance drones.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday it is unclear how many U.S. weapons the Taliban has obtained during its takeover of the country.

"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," Sullivan said.

More than 20 Republican senators on Wednesday demanded the Defense Department provide a "full account" of the weapons lost to the Taliban.

"It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment paid for by U.S. taxpayers has fallen into the hands of the Taliban and their terrorist allies," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. "Securing U.S. assets should have been among the top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense prior to announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan."

President Joe Biden on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country by a Sept. 11 deadline, saying the chaotic evacuation efforts, which have left thousands of Americans stranded in the war-torn country, were inevitable.

"The idea that somehow there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens," Biden told ABC.

Published under: Afghanistan , Taliban