Report: U.S. left $7 billion in military equipment in Afghanistan, now in Taliban hands

Report: U.S. left $7 billion in military equipment in Afghanistan, now in Taliban hands

According to a March report by the Department of Defense, the United States left a total of $7 billion in military equipment on the ground in Afghanistan after its withdrawal of troops, which has now been left in the hands of the Taliban, who took over the Afghan government late last year.

The report was requested by Congress to determine “the disposition of United States property, equipment and supplies provided to” Afghan forces that “were destroyed, taken out of” or “remain in Afghanistan.”

The DoD report stated that a total of $18.6 billion in equipment was transferred to the Afghan government by the United States military during the long conflict, and of that $7 billion remained in the country after the US withdrawal.

First reported by CNN, the DoD says in the report that the equipment left in Afghanistan after the August 2021 US withdrawal included “aircraft, air-to-ground munitions, military vehicles, weapons, communications equipment and other materials.”

Regarding how useful the equipment may prove to Taliban forces, the DoD says in the report, “Much of the remaining equipment” left in Afghanistan requires “specialized maintenance that DoD contractors previously provided” to Afghan forces “in the form of technical knowledge and support.” Without these resources, the Taliban may not be able to upkeep or operate much of the equipment to its full effect.

“The $7.12 billion figure cited in the Department’s recent report to Congress corresponds to ANDSF equipment and not U.S. military equipment used by our forces,” Army Major Rob Lodewick, a Defense Department spokesperson, said in a statement.

“Nearly all equipment used by U.S. military forces in Afghanistan was either retrograded or destroyed prior to our withdrawal and is not part of the ‘$7.12 billion’ figure cited in the report.”

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