August 22, 2021
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has said that the administration of President Joe Biden has surrendered Bagram Air Force Base, and $85 billion worth of equipment and weapons to the Taliban.
In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, Haley slammed the Biden administration for its execution in withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, saying it “completely surrendered to the Taliban.”
When asked how the US administration is negotiating with the Taliban, she said, “They’re not negotiating with the Taliban. They’ve completely surrendered to the Taliban. They surrendered Bagram Air Force Base, which was a major NATO hub. They surrendered $85 billion worth of equipment and weapons that we should have gotten out of there.”
“They have surrendered the American people and actually withdrew our troops before they withdrew the American people. And they’ve abandoned our Afghan allies who kept people like my husband safe,” Haley added.
The Taliban have seized billions of dollars of US weapons following the quick collapse of Afghan security forces that were armed with the American military equipment.
Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft are among the items captured by the Taliban, according to the reports published this week.
Taliban fights were seen in photos circulating on media clutching American-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles instead of their iconic AK-47s. And the militants have been spotted with American Humvees and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles.
However, Haley also acknowledged that the Biden administration must now do “whatever it takes to get our Americans out.”
“This is an unbelievable scenario where literally the Taliban has our Americans held hostage,” she added.
The United States claims it has spent up to $89 billion on training and equipping Afghan security forces over the last twenty years that failed to stop the Taliban onslaught on Kabul. Rather, according to reports, a significant percentage of the US-trained Afghan security forces have joined the Taliban force.
The United States handed over 75,898 vehicles, 599,690 weapons, 162,643 pieces of communications equipment, 208 aircraft, and 16,191 pieces of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment to the Afghan forces between 2003 and 2016, according to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report.
Washington also gave Afghan forces 7,035 machine guns, 4,702 Humvees, 20,040 hand grenades, 2,520 bombs and 1,394 grenade launchers, among other equipment, from 2017 to 2019, according to a report last year from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
Some 46 of those aircraft are now in Uzbekistan after more than 500 Afghan government troops used them to flee Afghanistan following the collapse of the government last week. The rest have been taken over by the Taliban.
The Biden administration has acknowledged a “fair amount” of weapons have fallen into the hands of the Taliban.
On Saturday, Trump called Biden’s handling of the retreat of US forces from Afghanistan “the greatest foreign policy humiliation” in American history.
Trump, a Republican who is considering running again for president in 2024, has repeatedly blamed Biden for Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban.
“Biden’s botched exit from Afghanistan is the most astonishing display of gross incompetence by a nation’s leader, perhaps at any time,” Trump said at a boisterous rally packed with his supporters near Cullman, Alabama.
“This is not a withdrawal. This was a total surrender,” he said.
The Taliban are poised to run Afghanistan again 20 years after they were removed from power by American forces following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and removed the Taliban from power. American forces occupied the country for about 20 years on the pretext of fighting against the Taliban. But as the US forces left Afghanistan, the Taliban stormed into Kabul, weakened by foreign occupation.