The headlines broke on Aug. 15: Kabul, Afghanistan, had fallen to the Taliban amid the Biden administration’s poorly executed withdrawal from the country.
Since that day, we’ve watched democracy crash and burn in the region.
The Taliban possess a burning hatred for America — and for those within their own nation’s boundaries who don’t suit their radical Islamic ideals.
Now that they have access to U.S. military technology left behind amid our untimely departure, what could this mean for us, for the world?
Could we see our own supplies being used against the Afghan people or even against ourselves?
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal cited a 2017 Government Accountability Office report that indicated the U.S. had sent “nearly 600,000 small arms, 76,000 vehicles and 208 airplanes to Afghanistan’s military and police from 2003 to 2016.”
The Afghan military has put down their weapons in light of the Islamic militant takeover, and the Taliban isn’t reluctant to make use of the military technology we’ve left behind.
What once worked for us and for the Afghan people now works against both.
The Biden administration’s poorly executed troop removal gifted the Taliban a bounty of our own supplies.
Do you think the Taliban poses a significant threat to the world?
It’s a devastating reality.
Judging by the numbers, the number of aircraft we’ve left behind for the Taliban to take would be enough for the radical regime to supplant Vietnam as the world’s 26th largest air force.
And this is happening as Biden laughs 0ff questions about the Taliban and attempts to justify his decision by saying “everyone wanted out of Afghanistan, so I finally got them out” (paraphrasing, of course).
He will continue to offer that defense as if his manner of executing the withdrawal is irrelevant.
But we know better.
Americans grieve. Veterans of a 20-year war feel as if their sacrifices were in vain. Our people left behind are hostages to the Taliban. The Afghan citizens, along with them, are left behind as collateral.
To salt the wound, Taliban fighters now have access to U.S. equipment.
“The Taliban have seized airplanes, tanks and artillery from Afghan outposts and from evacuating U.S. personnel, revealing one of the heavier costs of a U.S. troop withdrawal amid a collapse of Afghanistan’s government and army,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The outlet also said “scores of videos” have emerged amid the catastrophe, showing Taliban fighters “rejoicing near abandoned American helicopters, carrying U.S.-supplied M24 sniper rifles and M18 assault weapons, stacking other small arms and materiel in unending piles and driving Humvees and other U.S.-made military trucks.”
They’re doing everything they can to flaunt their victory over an inept administration, even mocking us by raising their flag in a style reminiscent of the iconic Iwo Jima photo from World War II in a recent photo op.
All the while, the U.S. — the supplier of these arms, the world’s largest air force presence, the third-largest standing army in the world (behind China and India) and a world superpower (among other titles) — sits back, watching the destabilization in agony.
Now the Taliban may be the world’s 26th-largest air force. Assuming the militants have captured and made use of all 208 airplanes mentioned by The Wall Street Journal, the Taliban would rank just behind Belarus and ahead of Vietnam in number of combat aircraft, according to Nation Master.
Try processing that for a moment.
Imagine the national security nightmares several nations now face in light of this and in light of what has already transpired.
Great Britain, one of our greatest allies, was left “rattled” by Biden’s rapid withdrawal — to quote an article from The New York Times — after the U.K. and other allies supported us in the region for 20 years.
The British Parliament even elected to hold Biden in contempt over the “botched withdrawal” on Wednesday (which essentially means Biden’s actions obstructed or interfered with Parliament’s operations).
An extraordinary and moving speech from veteran MP Tom Tugendhat, with very harsh words for President Biden on Afghanistan
“To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, is shameful.” pic.twitter.com/ZgEEHwD9MI
— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) August 18, 2021
Now, as U.S. presence remains at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, Britain and France are conducting military operations to liberate their citizens trapped behind enemy lines.
Needless to say, it’s unfair that they are forced to clean up the mess our president made for them.
Is this how they’re thanked for their help?
They, too, understand the grim reality we face as Islamic militants emerge as the victors of this long-standing conflict.
We all see where the Taliban’s newfound ownership of our military technology might lead, and the thoughts aren’t inviting.
And we all know who’s to blame.