Some $85 billion worth of America’s most advanced military technology was left behind in Afghanistan, a shocking revelation that by itself would justify President Biden’s removal from office, along with his entire national security team. Biden has given new meaning to the term “cut and run” by abandoning American citizens while permitting an immense cache of advanced weapons to be used against them.
We are not just talking about a few guns or hand grenades. The abandoned American equipment includes more than 109 helicopters, 22,170 Humvees, 8,000 trucks, 64,300 machine guns, and 358,530 assault rifles, according to the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Jim Banks (R-IN), who is in the House Republican leadership after serving with our troops in Afghanistan, observed last week that the Taliban has “more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 percent of the countries in the world.” At least 33 Black Hawk helicopters are in the Taliban’s hands now.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan previously admitted that the Biden Administration lacks a “complete picture“ of all of the military equipment it left behind. In addition, databases of Americans and our allies are probably with the Taliban, too.
Since 2007, our troops have collected biometric data about residents of Afghanistan by using mobile technology including the Biometric Automated Toolset (BAT) and Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE). These tools include a fingerprint reader, iris scanner, and camera, in order to build facial and fingerprint watchlists.
Placement on a watchlist in the United States can result in being kept off an airplane, which is inconvenient. But inclusion in these watchlists in Afghanistan can result in death.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki gave an unpersuasive denial of a report, by the left-leaning news website Politico, that the Biden Administration had given the names of attempted evacuees to the Taliban. The reality is that Biden has no idea whether such a list has been given to the enemy.
“First let me say there have been reports that we provided lists of people who want to leave Afghanistan to the Taliban. That’s inaccurate. That’s misreported and misconstrued,” Psaki insisted.
But last Thursday Biden himself admitted that he did know enough about such a list to respond to questions about it. He declared that he could not state “with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names.”
The biometric database, now presumably in the hands of the Taliban, is a deadly “kill list.” It potentially provides the Taliban with photos and fingerprints of Afghans who supported or assisted American soldiers, and those Afghans now face deadly reprisal.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was reportedly vacationing at his family’s luxurious home in exclusive East Hampton, Long Island, as the Taliban was overthrowing the Afghan government. Blinken has so misjudged the rapid takeover of Afghanistan that he should resign immediately.
Incredibly, the Western-installed president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, is a former Berkeley anthropology professor entirely unsuited for the challenge of his job, just as Biden is. As reported by the Washington Post, Ghani was more interested in early August in digitizing the Afghan economy than in defending against the invasion of his own capital.
“We never thought we would take Kabul so quickly,” a Taliban commander marveled. With Biden officials departed for an early weekend and the Afghan president having abruptly fled the country, there was no leadership for any earnest defense.
Military equipment can be replaced, but our trapped Americans cannot. Our equipment can now be used by terrorists against our own citizens there and elsewhere.
“If there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out,” Biden declared on August 18. But Biden then broke his promise by pulling out of Afghanistan before evacuating all of our citizens who want to leave.
“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., admitted Monday evening as the final American troops were withdrawn from the country, even earlier than the deadline demanded by the Taliban. The remaining Americans are targets for terrorists as bargaining chips, or worse.
Under President Trump’s leadership, only 3 American soldiers died in the second half of last year in Afghanistan. Biden’s failure to secure Kabul airport and Bagram Air Base for the evacuation resulted in the horrible massacre of 13 American troops last week, nearly all in their early 20s and whose heartbreaking photos are being shared in eulogy across the internet.
While American citizens were left behind to face the Taliban alone, tens of thousands of Afghan men, women, and children are being airlifted and resettled inside our country, and there is no way to adequately vet them. Far from eradicating terrorism in Afghanistan, Biden has equipped and facilitated it.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.