KOMMONSENTSJANE – NO? THE TALIBAN DID NOT SEIZE $83 BILLION OF U.S. WEAPONS.

Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end!

Now, with special thanks to the Truman Museum and Harry Truman, himself, you and I finally have a understanding of what ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’ really means…..

*******

The Washington Post
No, the Taliban did not seize $83 billion of U.S. weapons

Glenn Kessler

8/31/2021

“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.”

(Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs based on what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than on evidence, rationality, or reality. It is a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desire.)

(Really, is this reporter having “wet” dreams? Just think what we could have done with $83 billion in the U.S.? What was gained by spending $83 BILLION in war money? The war lasted 20 long years. Kingdom against kingdom, and when there is war there is loss greater than any victory. What was gained for this $83 BILLION IN WAR MONEY? Afghan people are back to square one – “Back to square one” is a phrase that means “to go back to the beginning, after a dead-end or 20 year failure for the U.S.” and with Russia’s 20 years of combat – this makes 40 years of war in Afghanistan. Just think how much money was wasted? For naught! )

The $83 billion number is not invented out of whole cloth. But it reflects all the money spent to train, equip and house the Afghan military and police — so weapons are just a part of that. At this point, no one really knows the value of the equipment that was seized by the Taliban.

The Facts

The $83 billion figure — technically, $82.9 billion — comes from an estimate in the July 30 quarterly report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for all spending on the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund since the U.S. invasion in 2001.

In recent years, the spending has decreased. For fiscal 2021, about $3 billion was spent on security forces, which was similar to 2020.

Separately, the U.S. government spent about $36 billion on shoring up the Afghan government. The total bill for the Afghan project added up to more than $144 billion.

In any case, the $83 billion spent on the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) goes back two decades, including almost $19 billion spent between 2002 and 2009.

A 2017 Government Accountability Office report estimated that about 29 percent of the funds spent on the Afghan security forces between 2005 and 2016 went to equipment and transportation. (The transportation costs related to transporting equipment and for contracted pilots and airplanes for transporting officials to meetings. There appears to be no way to segregate transportation spending.)

Using that same percentage, that would mean the equipment provided to Afghan forces amounted to $24 billion over 20 years. The GAO said approximately 70 percent of the equipment went to the Afghan military and the rest went to the national police (part of the Interior Ministry).

That’s certainly a lot of money. Between 2005 and 2016, U.S. taxpayers paid for 76,000 vehicles (such as 43,000 Ford Ranger pickup trucks, 22,000 Humvees and 900 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles known as MRAPs), 600,000 weapons and more than 200 aircraft, according to GAO.

Of course, some of this equipment may be obsolete or destroyed — or soon may not be usable.

The SIGAR report shows that 167 aircraft out of an inventory of 211 were usable — but the Afghan Air Force (AAF) still lacked enough qualified pilots. One issue was that the Taliban targeted pilots for assassination.

Even more problematic, there were not enough maintenance crews to maintain the aircraft. “Without continued contractor support, none of the AAF’s airframes can be sustained as combat effective for more than a few months, depending on the stock of equipment parts in-country, the maintenance capability on each airframe, and the timing of contractor support withdrawal,” the report said.

With great fanfare, the Taliban has seized a number of Black Hawk helicopters, including ones that the United States had just shipped this year at the request of former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. But only the first crew of Black Hawk mechanics had been trained, so the military “can field no more than one UH-60 per night for helicopter missions,” SIGAR said.

Meanwhile, as the U.S. military wound down its mission, it turned over facilities and equipment to the Afghan security forces — which may have added to the total seized by the Taliban. But Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., head of U.S. Central Command, said that before leaving Kabul airport on Aug. 30, the military “demilitarized” 70 MRAPs, 27 Humvees and 73 aircraft. “Those aircraft will never fly again,” he said. “They’ll never be able to be operated by anyone.” (Demilitarized is a term that means damaging in place, sometimes with explosives.)

“No one has any accounting of exactly what survived the last weeks of the collapse and fell into Taliban hands, and even before the collapse, SIGAR had publicly reported no accounting was possible in many districts,” said Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “In rough terms, however, if the ANDSF could not sustain it without foreign contractors, the Taliban will have very serious problems in operating it. That covers most aircraft and many electronics and heavier weapons.”

“One also has to be careful here,” Cordesman added. “The fact that Taliban fighters or cells of fighters get U.S. equipment does not mean it is pooled or shared. Factionalism and hoarding are the rule in Afghanistan, not the exception.”

The Pinocchio Test

U.S. military equipment was given to Afghan security forces over two decades. Tanks, vehicles, helicopters and other gear fell into the hands of the Taliban when the U.S.-trained force quickly collapsed. The value of these assets is unclear, but if the Taliban is unable to obtain spare parts, it may not be able to maintain them.

But the value of the equipment is not more than $80 billion. That’s the figure for all of the money spent on training and sustaining the Afghan military over 20 years. The equipment portion of that total is about $24 billion — certainly not small change — but the actual value of the equipment in the Taliban’s hands is probably much less than even that amount.

Three Pinocchios

kommonsentsjane

About kommonsentsjane

Enjoys sports and all kinds of music, especially dance music. Playing the keyboard and piano are favorites. Family and friends are very important.
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