Former President Donald Trump called on the present Biden administration to get “every penny” of U.S. equipment out of the region or “bomb the hell” out of the country.
Trump, who has repeatedly ridiculed President Joe Biden‘s handling of the military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, criticized reports of U.S. military equipment being seized by the Taliban — including tanks, trucks, weapons, and other gear left behind by U.S. forces.
“Never in history has a withdrawal from war been handled so badly or incompetently as the Biden Administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Trump wrote in an email statement on Monday. “In addition to the obvious, ALL EQUIPMENT should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States, and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost.”
As the U.S. is poised to meet the Tuesday troop withdrawal deadline and slow its evacuation efforts, it appears that the military plans to leave behind hundreds of thousands of pieces of military equipment in Taliban hands.
The Pentagon has not put an exact figure on the number of U.S. vehicles and weapons left behind in the country, but prior reports speculate armories of 360,000 rifles to thousands of trucks and Humvees along with a number of helicopters, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
“If it is not handed back, we should either go in with unequivocal Military force and get it, or at least bomb the hell out of it,” Trump said of the seized U.S. equipment on Monday. “Nobody ever thought such stupidity, as this feeble-brained withdrawal, was possible!”
The GAO report from Aug. 10, 2017, claimed the U.S. government had appropriated $76 billion since fiscal year 2002 for “various DOD and State programs to support Afghan security,” according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
Two Republicans on the House Oversight Committee drafted a letter on Aug. 23 requesting information from the Pentagon over its plans to recover or destroy billions of dollars worth of U.S. equipment now in the hands of Taliban fighters.
The letter was signed by Rep. James Comer of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and Rep. Glenn Grothman of the Subcommittee on National Security. Both lawmakers requested “documents sufficient to show a full accounting of all U.S. military equipment provided to the Afghan National Security Forces, or affiliated military group, since 2003.”
When pressed on Monday about whether the Pentagon would provide a full account of how much U.S. military equipment was destroyed during the exit operation from Afghanistan, spokesman John Kirby said: “Time’s not right for that right now.”
“I think when the time is right we’ll be able to — to try to help better flesh that out,” Kirby added.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese