Support Just the News

Help Fund Honest Journalism

Donate

GOP senators demand answers from the Pentagon about U.S. weapons now in hands of Taliban

"It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment paid for by U.S. taxpayers has fallen into the hands of the Taliban," senators wrote.

Updated: August 19, 2021 - 5:00pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A group of 25 Republican senators are demanding answers from the Pentagon about U.S. weapons falling into the hands of Taliban.

"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," wrote Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, John Cornyn of Texas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and others to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The Taliban appears to have gotten the weaponry as the U.S. military in recent weeks attempted to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in Afghan forces apparently abandoning efforts to stop the Taliban takeover. 
 
"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. 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 senators also wrote.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that "certainly a fair amount" of U.S. weaponry that was in the possession of Afghan Security Forces has now fallen in the hands of the Taliban.

Tom Norton, a veteran of the Afghanistan War running for Congress in Michigan's 3rd congressional district, told Just the News that "when one side breaks a ceasefire, and you've decided to withdraw from the country, we should blow up every piece of equipment we left there." 

Norton said, if he had the chance, he would tell President Biden that "the only way you can save in that space now is light up every single airfield we built, every single piece of equipment we built, and the only airfields you leave intact are the ones that were used solely for civilian usage."

In the letter, the GOP senators asked for "detailed information" from the Pentagon including a full account of:

  • Military equipment provided to the Afghan Armed Forces in the last year;
  • All military equipment, owned by either the U.S. or Afghan Armed Forces, that was removed or destroyed prior to the U.S. withdrawal, or is rendered inoperable without U.S. logistics personnel;
  • All U.S. military equipment that remains operational in Afghanistan; 
  • A list of what military equipment has been seized by the Taliban;
  • An assessment of how long it will take the Taliban to use each of the captured equipment;
  • An 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; 
  • Any 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.

Just the News Spotlight