President Trump on Monday said the U.S. should respond with “unequivocal Military force” if the Taliban refuse to return the billions of dollars worth of military equipment that was left behind in Afghanistan or “at least bomb the hell out of” the hardware.
“Never in history has a withdrawal from war been handled so badly or incompetently as the Biden Administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. In addition to the obvious, 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 in a statement.
“If it is not handed back, we should either go in with unequivocal Military force and get it, or at least bomb the hell out of it. Nobody ever thought such stupidity, as this feeble-brained withdrawal, was possible!” he added.ADVERTISEMENT
After the Afghan government fell to the Taliban, it was reported that billions in U.S. weaponry had been seized by the Taliban, including guns, cars and numerous aircraft. The aircraft are virtually useless without training, though their seizure likely gives the Taliban propaganda tools.
As of June 30, Afghan forces are believed to have had 211 aircrafts in their inventory that were supplied by the U.S. At least 46 of those aircrafts are now in Uzbekistan after Afghan troops used them to flee the Taliban.
“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,” said White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan in an interview earlier this month. “And obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”
GOP Reps. James Comer (Ky.) and Rep. Glenn Grothman (Wis.) — both members of 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 these 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,” the lawmakers wrote.