On Wednesday, 25 Republican senators sent a letter demanding the Department of Defense to provide a full account of U.S. military equipment left overseas in Afghanistan, which already has or will fall into the hands of the Taliban.
The letter, written to the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, was led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). The letter detailed disturbing images showing members of the Taliban with U.S. military equipment as they recaptured Afghanistan.
“We write with grave concern regarding the status of U.S. military equipment left behind in Afghanistan as a result of our poorly executed withdrawal from the country. As we watched the images coming out of Afghanistan as the Taliban retook the country, we were horrified to see U.S. equipment – including UH-60 Black Hawks – in the hands of the Taliban,” the letter reads. “It is so 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 letter requests a list of all the military equipment provided to the Afghan Armed Forces in the past year, a list of what equipment was left in Afghanistan and remains operational, and a list of all the equipment seized by the Taliban.
“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,” the letter reads. The two final requests in the letter include “[a]n assessment of the likelihood that the Taliban will seek to work with Russia, Pakistan, Iran, or the People’s Republic of China for training, fuel, or infrastructure necessary to utilize the equipment they do not have the capabilities to use on their own,” and “[a]ny efforts by the administration, planned or underway, to recapture or destroy equipment that remains in Afghanistan and is at risk of being used by terrorist entities.”
With the current evacuation of Afghanistan still underway, it’s imperative that we get answers regarding the whereabouts of our military equipment that could be acquired by the Taliban.