Leaving Weapons to Taliban

Biden’s Administration wants everyone to believe the Afghanistan situation is under control. However the sudden resurgence of the Taliban has left questions from some regarding the ability of Biden to make decisions. President Biden said he is committed to keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan until every American is evacuated. This decision has made many people wonder if Biden is fit to stay in office. Both the left and right have questioned Biden’s decisions amid the conflict in Afghanistan. The Taliban celebrated Afghanistan’s Independence Day by declaring that it had beaten the United States. “Fortunately, today we are celebrating the anniversary of independence from Britain,” the Taliban said. “We at the same time as a result of our jihadi resistance forced another arrogant power of the world, the United States, to fail and retreat from our holy territory of Afghanistan.” Protesters defied the Taliban by waving the Afghan national flag and were met with violence. “We’re gonna go back in hindsight and look, but the idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,” President Joe Biden said. Biden says he originally planned for America to exit Afghanistan quietly with no issues. He also dismissed the possibility of a Taliban takeover, something we see now was a lapse in judgement. 

Did Biden Cover the Truth?

Stephanopoulos asked Biden about a possible issue with intelligence. “I think there was no consensus. If you go back and look at the intelligence reports, they said that it was more likely to be sometime by the end of the year,” Biden said. “But, you didn’t put a timeline out when you said it was highly unlikely. You just said flat out it’s highly unlikely the Taliban would take over,” Stephanopoulos responded. Did the President know all along that the Taliban was at risk of, or was actively, taking over Afghanistan? Why didn’t Biden first pull our civilians out of the country? These are the questions Florida Senator Rick Scott is asking. He told Fox News Biden’s “abject failure to execute a strategic withdrawal of American forces has needlessly put innocent American lives in danger. This massive failure of leadership cannot be ignored. It is unconscionable that Joe Biden found it acceptable to withdraw our troops before first ensuring the safe evacuation of Americans and our allies. Now, as he hides from the American public and the press, it’s clear that we must ask the serious question of whether Joe Biden is fit to lead our nation as commander in chief,” Scott continued. “While our immediate focus remains on the safe return of all Americans and service members, I am also calling for Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to immediately launch a bipartisan and bicameral investigation into the Biden administration’s failed withdrawal.”

biden taliban weapons

Did we Leave Weapons to the Taliban?

Biden has defended his choices multiple times over the past week. He is insistent on blaming Afghan officials or Trump instead of fixing his mistakes. Now, billions of dollars of U.S. weapons are free to use by the Taliban. Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircrafts are just a few items seized by the Taliban. They have been riding in U.S. humvees and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles. It would be hard to operate the advanced aircraft without training. However, the act of seizing the equipment sends a statement. The Taliban wants us to believe our time and money spent there was wasted. “When an armed group gets their hands on American-made weaponry, it’s sort of a status symbol. It’s a psychological win,” said Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Center for International Policy’s Security Assistance Monitor. “They may be able to manage a flight or two or to operate them in some really limited capacity in the short term, but without long term sustainment, maintenance, servicing, that sort of thing, it wouldn’t turn into a robust or useful military capability,” he said. “It took the Afghans and the United States a long time to develop an indigenous air capability, and even then, they were reliant on the United States to keep those planes in the sky.” The more pressing concern is the “fair amount” of small arms left in Afghanistan. 

The United States has spent roughly $83 billion in arming and training Afghanistan. While it is unclear exactly how many weapons have fallen into the hands of the Taliban, Biden says it’s a “fair amount.” Is this Biden and his administration attempting to downplay the severity of the situation again? “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,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. “And obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.” Republican senators are demanding a full summary of U.S. military equipment given to Afghanistan in the last year. They are also demanding to know Biden’s plans to capture or destroy the Taliban seized American equipment. The Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to comment on the possibility of destroying equipment. They say the Military is currently focused on evacuations only. Is Biden making the right calls for the situation? Should the U.S. just ignore the Taliban having American military equipment? Doesn’t that seem like we are willingly supplying the Taliban with weapons? Why is Biden only evacuating and not taking care of the issues in Afghanistan? 

Written by: Erinn Malloy

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