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Military vehicles transferred by the U. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters a few days later at the Pentagon.
In a matter of weeks, however, the Taliban had seized most of the country, as well as any weapons and equipment left behind by fleeing Afghan forces. Video showed the advancing insurgents inspecting long lines of vehicles and opening crates of new firearms, communications gear and even military drones. Current and former U. President Joe Biden's administration is so concerned about the weapons that it is considering a of options to American made guns for sale. The officials said launching airstrikes against the larger equipment, such as helicopters, has not been ruled out, but there is concern that would antagonize the Taliban at a time the United States' main goal is evacuating people.
Another official said that while there are no definitive s yet, the current intelligence assessment was that the Taliban are believed to control more than 2, armored vehicles, including U. Humvees, and up to 40 aircraft potentially including UH Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters, and ScanEagle military drones.
American made guns for sale speed with which the Taliban swept across Afghanistan is reminiscent of Islamic State militants taking weapons from U. But aircraft like the Blackhawk helicopters have been the most visible of U. Between and the United States provided Afghan forces with aircraft, according to the U. In the last week, many of those aircraft were most useful for Afghan pilots to escape the Taliban. One of the U. Even before taking power in Kabul over the weekend, the Taliban had started a campaign of assassinating pilots.
Some planes were in the United States for maintenance and will stay. Those en route to Afghan forces will instead be used by the U. Current and former officials say that while they are concerned about the Taliban having access to the helicopters, the aircraft require frequent maintenance and many are complicated to fly without extensive training.
Retired U. Army General Joseph Votel, who oversaw U. Central Command from tosaid most of the high-end hardware captured by the Taliban, including the aircraft, was not equipped with sensitive U. There is a more immediate concern about some of the easier- to-use weapons and equipment, such as night-vision goggles. Since the United States has provided Afghan forces with at leastinfantry weapons including M16 assault rifles,pieces of communication equipment, and 16, night-vision goggle devices.
Votel and others said smalls arms seized by the insurgents such as machine guns, mortars, as well as artillery pieces including howitzers, could give the Taliban an advantage against any resistance that could surface in historic anti-Taliban strongholds such as the Panjshir Valley northeast of Kabul. The situation, experts say, shows the United States needs a better way to monitor equipment it gives to allies.
It could have done much more to ensure those supplies to Afghan forces were closely monitored and inventoried, said Justine Fleischner of UK-based Conflict Armament Research.
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