The White House acknowledged Tuesday that the Taliban had amassed a significant amount of US military equipment after taking control of Afghanistan after two decades of war with US forces.
Photos and videos have shown the Taliban carrying firearms and vehicles that Pentagon forces have used or supplied to Afghan national security forces, as well as advanced UH-60 Black Hawk attack helicopters and other equipment at the Kandahar airport.
“Of course we don’t have a complete picture of where every article of defense equipment has gone. But certainly, quite a bit of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban,” said Jake Sullivan, White House national security adviser.
“Obviously we don’t feel like they’re going to hand it over to us easily,” he said.
Sullivan said losing control of millions of dollars of military supplies to an enemy is an example of “the difficult choices a president must make … in the context of the end of a 20-year war.”
He noted that the Black Hawks had been supplied to Afghan government forces to help fight the Taliban insurgency.
But government forces quickly succumbed to the Taliban terrorists, relinquishing control of large stockpiles of weapons and their helicopters.