The Pentagon’s Inspector General said Tuesday that the now-defunct US-backed Afghan government had over $7 billion in US military equipment at the time of its collapse last year and that most of it was seized by the Taliban.
“The DoD estimated that US-funded equipment valued at $7.12 billion was in the inventory of the former Afghan government when it collapsed, much of which has since been seized by the Taliban,” the Inspector General’s report said.
The report said the things left behind included “military aircraft, ground vehicles, weapons, and other military equipment.” The majority of the equipment was tactical ground vehicles, such as MRAPs and Humvees, worth an estimated $4.12 billion.
The Inspector General said that the US military “destroyed nearly all major equipment used by US troops in Afghanistan throughout the drawdown period in 2021.” Monday marked one year since the Taliban entered Kabul and the US-backed Afghan government officially collapsed.
On Wednesday, the Taliban reportedly tested two US-made aircraft in flights over Kabul, a sign that they have the means to repair the equipment. The Taliban have said that they would integrate pilots, mechanics, and other specialists from the former US-backed Afghan army.
The US had plans to increase funding for Afghanistan’s forces after the withdrawal as Washington expected to be funding a proxy war against the Taliban for years to come. But the plan failed as the US-backed forces agreed to surrender to the Taliban. Some of the military aid meant for Afghanistan has been sent to Ukraine, including Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters.
Throughout the war, the US spent about $88 billion arming and training the Afghan forces as part of its reconstruction efforts, which were defined by exorbitant waste. Overall, the US spent $2.3 trillion on the war in Afghanistan, a figure that includes interest on war borrowing and veterans care.