Taliban will be armed with U.S. Humvees, helicopters, and aircraft
PANAGYURISHTE, BM, ($1=1.66 Bulgarian Levas) – The situation in Afghanistan does not bode well for the country’s population. The Taliban are now 11km from Kabul, after entering the city of Jalalabad without resistance yesterday [August 14th], where the city administration and governor surrendered voluntarily. For at least a month, the international community has been warning that Afghanistan could become a major humanitarian crisis. The first signals are already there.
Fatima Ayub, who is the DC director of Coordinating international campaigns against conflict & for the protection of civilians in Afghanistan, has renewed her family status in Kabul with a post on her Twitter account. She says the basic foodstuffs her family needs are no longer available.
About a month ago, BulgarianMilitary.com analyzed the situation in Afghanistan, researching the facts of the last 12 months and referring to a report by the US military intelligence. Our data indicated that Kabul would fall, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would be born, and the Taliban would rule much of the country by the possibility of a coalition government in Kabul with a strong Taliban-dominated government. However, such a coalition government may not be necessary, as the Taliban’s main goal is to overthrow Ashraf Ghani’s presidential administration.
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To legitimize themselves politically to the world if Ashraf Ghani falls from power, the Taliban could risk holding elections in the country. This is a good option for them, because as we mentioned, they already own 90% of the territory, establish their forces in all centers in the country and early elections can win them a majority.
One issue remains in the field of these analyzes, which should not be ignored in any way. What will happen to the armament of the regular Afghan army, which in recent years has received a lot of American equipment from Washington? Let’s see what the Afghans have.
The largest asset of the Afghan army provided by the United States is thousands of Humvee high mobility vehicles, hundreds of M1117 Guardian armored security vehicles, about a hundred M1224 MaxxPro armored combat vehicles, hundreds of different military trucks, jeeps, and pickups. In the air, the Afghan army operated Bell UH-1, Sikorsky UH-60, MD500 Defender helicopters, a dozen Cessna 208 combat aircraft, and a total of dozens of military transport aircraft, including a Boeing 727, C-130 Hercules, and Cessna 208. This is US equipment only for billions of dollars sold to the Afghan government over the years.
It is only logical that, within the limits of the permissible possibilities, during the capture of Kabul and the political legitimation of the Taliban, all these weapons should fall into their hands. It should be noted that the Afghan army is not only equipped with American weapons. Dozens of weapons and systems have been delivered from European countries, Russia, China, and India. We are talking about a completely modernized, as they say in the Pentagon “well-equipped army”.
If the Taliban win a majority in Afghanistan’s elections or participate in a coalition government, it is unlikely that Taliban combat units will need to be trained on this equipment, as the Afghan army will come under the control of the Taliban government.
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A similar question was asked to Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby, who, however, failed to answer convincingly and left doubts that the United States could do anything to prevent such a scenario. “We are always worried about US equipment that could fall into an adversary’s hands, and that – that’s something we never lose focus on. And what actions we might take to prevent that or to forestall it, I just really won’t speculate about today,” he told reporters at the Pentagon this Friday, August 13.
The United States may find itself in an even worse position. The US government has signed an agreement with Afghanistan to continue supporting Black Hawk helicopters, for example. This means that at some point, the Taliban will not only receive American weapons but will wait for the Americans to renew and modernize them, as agreed. “<…> We have made commitments to help improve their capabilities. Those commitments remain in place, including refurbishing Black Hawk helicopters <…>,” Kirby said.
The possibility of the Taliban turning from a well-armed ethnic group of the Afghan population into a perfectly armed ethnic group of the Afghan population is very, very likely to happen.
Fatima Ayub sees no way out. The problem is that the community of great powers also sees no way out of the situation, and they are part of the problem that they cannot solve.
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