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The Taliban Has Captured U.S. Weapons That Could Be Worth Billions

From Humvees to helicopters.
IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK
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As Taliban forces blitzed through Kabul in a shockingly speedy takeover of Afghanistan, they have also captured hardware left by the former occupiers—sniper rifles, night vision goggles, high-tech scopes, and even armored vehicles, and a number of attack aircraft. 

The Taliban lost no time in parading their loot—“the latest and greatest in military hardware.”

In a video uploaded on YouTube by the The Times of Israel, Taliban militants are shown waving their captured prizes

U.S. President Joe Biden minced no words on the embarrassing defeat of the Afghan troops trained by American forces.

“When you saw the significant collapse of the 300,000 Afghan troops we have trained, just leaving their equipment and taking off, well. That’s what happened. That’s simply what happened,” Biden said in the video interview. 

The U.S. left advanced weaponry and hardware with the Afghan troops, but their swift surrender left even the Taliban shocked. 

Military Hardware Was Worth Over $18 Billion

According to a Washington Post report, the American hardware left with the Afghan troops was worth $18 billion or P903 billion. It was disbursed from 2005 to 2020 through the $83-billion Afghan military modernization program funded by the U.S.

Among the highly prized hardware left by the Afghan forces and presumably captured by the Taliban—that even the Philippines does not have—are 40 operational MD-530 helicopters, 30 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, 174 Humvees, and 23 A-29 Super Tucano attack planes equipped with laser-guided bombing, according to the Post

MD350 Attack Helicopter

Photo by Staff Sgt. Perry Aston (USAF).
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 UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter

Photo by Shutterstock.

M1151 HMMWVs, aka Humvee

Photo by Shutterstock.

One Black Hawk has a price tag of $10 million (P500 million), while each Humvee costs $250,000 (roughly P13 million) each. 

With so much equipment falling to the hands of the Taliban, once regarded by America as one of its most potent enemies, it’s understandable how President Biden was speechless but honest about the debacle: “That’s simply what happened.”

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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