The Taliban have access to: more than $85 billion in military equipment because of the “negligence” of the Biden administration, Republican Congressman Jim Banks said last week.
“We now know that due to the negligence of [President Joe Biden’s] government, the Taliban now [have] access to more than $85 billion in US military equipment,” said Banks, a veteran of the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
Over the past two decades, the US has trained and supplied the Afghan armed forces with huge amounts of weapons and equipment – most of which were seized by the Taliban when they took control of the country on August 15 after months of fighting.
Afghan army units hadn’t fought much when the extremist group began to take control of key cities with… many leave their posts and or surrender, according to US officials.
With little to no resistance, Banks said the Taliban were able to seize abandoned military equipment, including 75,000 vehicles, 200 planes and helicopters, and 600,000 small arms and light weapons.
The Afghan extremist organization now has more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 percent of the world’s countries, the congressman added.
More shockingly, Banks said, the Taliban also have biometric devices containing the fingerprints, eye scans and biographical information of Afghan citizens who have collaborated with the US in their fight against the extremist group.
“But they don’t just have guns. They have night vision goggles, body armor, medical supplies and, unbelievably… the Taliban now [have] biometric devices with the fingerprints, eye scans and biographical information of the Afghans that have helped us over the past 20 years,” the US veteran said.
The abandoned equipment could be used to target them or attack Americans, Banks warned.
“If any of these weapons or military equipment is used to injure, injure or kill an American now or in the future, the blood is on Joe Biden’s hands,” he said.
Several US officials have also warned that the weapons could be seized by other extremist groups, such as ISIS-K, or possibly handed over to US rivals such as China and Russia.
Despite the threat, the Biden administration has not given any indication as to whether it would attempt to take back the abandoned equipment, Banks said.
US President Joe Biden has been criticized for… the chaos that followed when US troops began to withdraw from Afghanistan. US-led troops had been stationed in Afghanistan for 20 years after the ousting of a Taliban government protecting al-Qaeda militants behind the September 11 attacks in 2001.
After conducting the largest non-combat military evacuation in history, the US announced it had completed the withdrawal on Monday.