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The United States left approximately $7 billion worth of military equipment in Afghanistan during the tumultuous withdrawal last August, according to a congressionally mandated report from the U.S. Department of Defense. The Pentagon report claimed that the U.S. left behind aircraft, air-to-ground munitions, military vehicles, and communications equipment.
“The U.S. gave a total of $18.6 billion of equipment to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) from 2005 to August 2021,” according to CNN, which added, “Of that total, equipment worth $7.12 billion remained in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal was completed on August 30, 2021.”
The abrupt and shambolic Afghanistan withdrawal reportedly left 78 aircraft valued at $923.3 million at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. The deserted aircraft were demilitarized and rendered inoperable before the U.S. military withdrew from the Taliban-controlled country, according to the report.
Also left in Afghanistan were more than 40,000 military vehicles, including 12,000 military Humvees, the report states. The DoD stated that the operational condition of the vehicles is “unknown.”
The Pentagon report – which was published in March – noted that 9,524 air-to-ground munitions worth $6.54 million were left in Afghanistan.
The Taliban could have access to over 300,000 weapons that the U.S. left in Afghanistan, as well as more than 1.5 million pieces of ammunition worth $48 million, according to the report.
The report claimed that “nearly all” of the communications equipment that the U.S. gave to Afghan forces remained in the country at the time of the withdrawal as the Taliban took over the country.
There are allegedly nearly 42,000 pieces of specialized equipment such as night vision and surveillance systems that remained in Afghanistan at the conclusion of the chaotic and deadly U.S. military withdrawal.
The U.S. military was able to transfer over 15 million rounds of Ball rifle ammunition, more than 99,000 40mm high-explosive/fragmentation grenade cartridges, and approximately 119,000 82mm high-explosive mortar rounds to Ukraine, according to the report. The U.S. also reportedly relocated five Mi-17 helicopters to Ukraine from Afghanistan.
“Much” of the remaining military hardware deserted in Afghanistan reportedly requires “specialized maintenance that DoD contractors previously provided” to Afghan forces “in the form of technical knowledge and support.”
The Pentagon proclaimed in the report that there is no plan to “retrieve or destroy” the military equipment.
In August, U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie declared that the military hardware at the Hamid Karzai International Airport had been destroyed or “demilitarized,” and will “never be able to be operated by anyone again.”
In September, the Taliban flaunted several high-priced U.S. military equipment, including a Black Hawk helicopter, CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, armored tactical vehicles, and firearms.