First on CNN: Pentagon report says US left $7 billion in military equipment in Afghanistan after withdrawal in 2021 2022-04-27 16:08:01


This equipment is now in a country controlled by the same enemy that the United States has been trying to expel for the past two decades: the Taliban. The Department of Defense has no plans to return to Afghanistan to “recover or destroy” the equipment, reads the report submitted to Congress.

The United States provided a total of $18.6 billion in equipment to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) from 2005 to August 2021, according to the report. Of that total, $7.12 billion worth of equipment remained in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal was completed on August 30, 2021. It included aircraft, air-to-ground munitions, military vehicles, weapons, communications equipment and other items, according to a Defense Department report. .

The enormous value of the equipment left will serve to refocus attention on the chaotic and hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan that has been heavily criticized by lawmakers of both parties.

The report states that “much of the remaining equipment” remaining in Afghanistan requires “specialized maintenance that was previously provided by DoD contractors” to Afghan forces “in the form of technical knowledge and support.”

The Department of Defense was required to report to Congress “on the disposition of U.S. property, equipment, and supplies to “Afghan forces that have been destroyed or removed from” or “remain in Afghanistan,” the report said, which read: March 2022 .

From Afghanistan to Ukraine

The report also says that five Mi-17 helicopters that were in Afghanistan were officially transferred to Ukraine in 2022, although they were already in Ukraine for maintenance before the US left Afghanistan. The Department of Defense notified Congress of its intention to transfer the helicopters in January 2022, before the start of the Russian invasion of the country, and Ukraine signed a letter of acceptance on March 11, 2022.

“These five helicopters were in Ukraine undergoing maintenance work when the Afghan government collapsed, and they have remained there ever since,” the report stated.

Among other items the United States had previously purchased for Afghanistan but did not send into the country, the United States gave some “non-standard munitions” to Ukraine, including about 37,000 122mm howitzers, the report said.

The US also transferred more than 15 million rounds of Ball Rifle ammunition, more than 99,000 rounds of 40mm high-explosive/fragmentation grenades, and about 119,000 82mm high-explosive mortar rounds to Ukraine from materials previously purchased for Afghanistan, according to the report.

The report stated that these munitions were transferred to Ukraine under the presidential withdrawal authority.

Left American military equipment and weapons behind

Aircraft worth $923.3 million remained in Afghanistan. The United States left 78 aircraft purchased for the Afghan government at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul before the end of the withdrawal. The report stated that these aircraft were demilitarized and rendered inoperable before the departure of the US military. The US military conducted the evacuation of non-combatants from Afghanistan in August, primarily via that airport.

A total of 9,524 air-to-ground munitions, worth $6.54 million, remained in Afghanistan when the US military withdrawal ended. The report notes that the “large majority” of “the remaining aircraft stocks are inaccurate munitions.”

The report stated that more than 40,000 out of a total of 96,000 military vehicles donated by the United States to Afghan forces remained in Afghanistan at the time of the US withdrawal, including 12,000 military Humvees. The report stated that the “operational status of the remaining vehicles” in Afghanistan was “unknown”.

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The report stated that more than 300,000 weapons out of a total of 427,300 weapons donated by the United States to Afghan forces remained in Afghanistan at the time of the U.S. military withdrawal. The report states that less than 1,537,000 “specialized munitions” and “common small arms ammunition”, estimated to have a total value of $48 million, remain in the country.

“Nearly” all communications equipment provided by the United States to Afghan forces, including commercial, portable, and handheld commercial and military radio systems, and associated transmitters and encoders, also remained in Afghanistan at that time. The report mentions the withdrawal.

The report adds that “nearly all” of the night vision and “biometric and positioning” surveillance equipment totaling about 42,000 pieces of specialized equipment remain in the country.

According to the report, “all” EOD and demining equipment, including 17,500 “pieces of explosive detection equipment, electronic countermeasures, disposal and personal protective equipment” remained in Afghanistan.