Editor’s Note: This article and headline has been updated after The Washington Post pointed out that the $85 billion figure estimated to be spent on the Afghan army was not strictly for weapons, but also training and other items.
Donald Trump has an idea for how to deal with the tens of billions worth of military equipment left behind in Afghanistan that has fallen into Taliban hands.
First, demand that every piece be returned – and, if they don’t, “bomb the hell out of it.”
“All equipment should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States, and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost,” Trump said.
The former President also provided a suggestion as to what America should do if the Taliban fails to return the equipment.
“If it is not handed back,” he writes, “We should either go in with unequivocal Military force and get it or at least bomb the hell out of it.”
The $85 billion estimate has been disputed in part because the figure includes the cost of training and housing Afghan police over a 20-year presence in the country.
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) August 30, 2021
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Trump: Bomb The Hell Out Of The Equipment
As the botched withdrawal was taking shape in Afghanistan, reports surfaced indicating the Taliban had seized billions of dollars of United States weapons.
Photos online had shown Taliban fighters posing with American-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles, while other significant items obtained by the terror group include Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.
The Sunday Times outlined the Taliban’s huge gains, including Humvees, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, drones, anti-aircraft guns, rifles, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft.
Nice of the United States to leave its new counterterrorism partner – the Taliban – $85 billion worth of weapons. pic.twitter.com/Fzsr8NzXzs
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) August 30, 2021
The vast amount of equipment seized has given the Taliban a new potential source of revenue – selling weapons on the black market.
— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) August 29, 2021
U.S. officials warn that these weapons could fall into the hands of a wide range of enemies, from ISIS, China, or Russia.
GOP Reps. James Comer (KY) and Glenn Grothman (WI), who are on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last week requesting information on the Pentagon’s plans to recover the weapons.
“We are left wondering if the Biden Administration has a plan to prevent the Taliban from using our weapons against the U.S. or its allies, or selling them to foreign adversaries, like China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea,” they wrote.
Some weapons not seized by the Taliban have already made their way into Iran.
Geolocation of these two videos by @SaraMassoumi and @Tasnimnews_EN confirms that some Afghan military convoys fled across to the border into eastern Iran, specifically Gamshad and Qorqori. pic.twitter.com/8nsSnguwOs
— Christiaan Triebert (@trbrtc) August 16, 2021
The Independent reports: “The Taliban, by some estimates, has more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 percent of the world after the US abandoned $85bn worth of military equipment.”
No Policy Solutions
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby admits the Biden administration doesn’t have “any policy solutions” to recoup or destroy these weapons.
“I don’t have an exact inventory of what equipment the Afghans had at their disposal that now might be at risk,” he said.
Kirby added, “Obviously, we don’t want to see any weapons or systems fall into hands of people that would use them in such a way to harm our interests.”
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby: “I don’t have an exact inventory of equipment” seized by the Taliban AND ”I don’t have any policy solutions…about how we would or could address that going forward” pic.twitter.com/3tWax3YhpY
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 23, 2021
Biden’s predecessor just gave them one solution.
Trump insists he would take swift, decisive action against the Taliban by trying to either get the military equipment returned or “bomb the hell out of it.”
By contrast, billions of dollars of high-tech military weaponry are now in the hands of terrorists, and the Biden administration has no plan to address it.
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