The Taliban claims to have repaired and put back to use around 300 military vehicles abandoned by the US during its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
The Afghanistan defense ministry posted pictures on Twitter, showing rows of the vehicles, some of which appear to be armored trucks resembling Humvees.
The Khaama News Agency cited state media and reported that the vehicles had been intentionally damaged by the US and its allies during the hasty coalition withdrawal from the country in April, 2021. The Taliban has since been using the equipment to modernize its forces, and it even showcased seized US military vehicles in a parade in Kabul in 2021, Reuters reported.
According to a 2021 congressional report obtained by CNN, the US abandoned $7 billion of military equipment it had provided to the former Afghan government in its battle with Taliban insurgents before it collapsed and its international backers fled.
The report highlights the failure of the US to track and manage the equipment it had provided to Afghan security forces, which eventually ended up in the hands of the Taliban.
Retired US Central Command head Gen Kenneth McKenzie said in 2021 that 70 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles were abandoned in Afghanistan, along with 27 Humvees, according to the BBC.
The Taliban’s claim of having repaired and put back to use around 300 vehicles adds to the already concerning situation in Afghanistan.
It is essential to keep in mind that the situation in Afghanistan is still unfolding, and there may be consequences of the US leaving behind such equipment in a war-torn country.
The Taliban’s use of the vehicles and the equipment that the US left behind might pose a severe threat to the stability and peace of the region, and the international community needs to address this issue as soon as possible.
The US and its allies must learn from the mistakes made during their withdrawal from Afghanistan and ensure that such errors are not repeated in the future. The equipment that they provide to foreign countries should be monitored and managed to avoid it from falling into the wrong hands.
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