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US abandoned $7B in military equipment in Afghanistan ahead of Taliban takeover

The U.S. Department of Defense found that roughly $7 billion worth of military equipment transferred to Afghanistan security forces remained in the country during the Taliban takeover in August 2021. 

According to a congressionally mandated DOD report, military assistance delivered to Kabul over the course of 16 years included equipment ranging from air-to-surface missiles, night vision surveillance and Humvees first reported CNN.


The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), which were trained by the U.S. military, received $18.6 billion worth of equipment from 2005 to the U.S.’s withdrawal in August 2021, defense department spokesperson Army Major Rob Lodewick told Fox News Digital.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan that ultimately lead to the death of 13 U.S. service members and the collapse of the Afghan government. 

Many on the Hill have also voiced frustration that deadly technology was left in the hands of the very group the U.S. toppled 20 years prior.  

“After more than 16 years of combat operations, DOD estimates that $7.12 billion of this equipment remains in Afghanistan in varying states of repair,” Lodewick said.  “It is important to remember that 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. 

“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,” he added.

Taliban forces made headlines following the completed U.S. withdrawal in August by parading military equipment that had belonged to the Afghan forces, but it remains unclear how much of the equipment is operable. 

Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital's airport on Monday, rushing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government. 


Over $923 million worth of aircraft in Afghanistan, including 78 aircraft that were originally procured for the Afghan government, were left at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The U.S. military reportedly demilitarized the planes and rendered them inoperable before completely withdrawing from the country, the report stated. 

Over 9,500 air-to-surface munitions, valued at over $6.5 million dollars, were left behind following the collapse of the Afghan government. Though the report noted the “significant majority” of the “munitions stock are non-precision munitions.”

More than 40,000 of the 96,000 military vehicles given to Afghan authorities were abandoned, including 12,000 Humvees.

The DOD report said that an “unknown” number of the vehicles remained operational. 

Taliban militants shot and killed a pregnant police officer in front of her children and husband, the BBC reports.

Just under three-quarters of the 427,300 weapons provided to the Afghan forces were left behind along with less than 1,537,000 “specialty munitions” and small arms ammo.

“Nearly all” communications equipment, encryption devices, night vision and other forms of surveillance, demining and explosive detection equipment were also abandoned, the report found. 

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