(NewsNation) — More than $7 billion worth of U.S.-funded military equipment, including aircraft, vehicles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, were in the Afghan government’s possession when the Taliban captured Kabul just over a year ago, according to a new report from the Defense Department’s inspector general released this week.
There’s a chance you haven’t heard about this story. That’s because 88% of news outlets that reported on this story lean right, according to NewsNation’s partner Ground News, which monitors coverage based on media bias. No left-leaning media outlets have reported on the DoD’s latest estimates, according to Ground News’ Blindspot report.
Military aircraft valued at $923.3 million and vehicles, including Humvees worth $4.12 billion, were among the equipment in the Afghan government’s control when the country collapsed, the report determined.
Additionally, Afghan forces had $511.8 million worth of weapons in their possession, including sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and howitzers, among other gear.
That equipment is now in the hands of the Taliban, although it’s unclear just how much was operable at the time of the takeover. The report noted that some of the military aircraft had been “demilitarized” and “rendered inoperable” during the evacuation.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Policy, which provided the figures, noted that the Afghan forces were heavily reliant on U.S. contractor support to maintain both their aircraft and ground vehicle fleets, and without that continued support, the long-term operability of those assets will be limited.
From 2005 to 2021, the U.S. government spent approximately $84 billion in security assistance to the Afghan forces, according to the Pentagon. About $18.6 billion of that funding went directly toward the procurement of weapons and equipment.
The report comes one year after the Taliban captured Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, which led the remaining U.S. forces to leave the country in what will be remembered as a deadly and chaotic withdrawal.
Before leaving the country, the U.S. military removed or destroyed nearly all major equipment used by U.S. troops, the report noted.