Do you know how much military equipment was left in Afghanistan by the US army? Before answering this question, allow us to give you a little backstory.
When Al Qaida Taliban conducted a terrorist op on the New York twin-towers, using Afghanistan as its base, the US government vowed to take its revenge. In 2001, the US army invaded Afghanistan to eradicate terrorism along with its Afghan allies. Unfortunately, in 2021, the USA left Afghanistan after 20 years of its war against terror while leaving behind the munitions to the people it started the war against, the Taliban.
So much is left by the US army before its surprise withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The US Department of Defense, in its mandated report to congress, gave a complete overview of how much military equipment was left in Afghanistan. As viewed by CNN, the report includes information on the total hardware left with value.
Our article here has taken notes from this report on CNN to give you an idea of what was left by the US army on Afghani soil before leaving it for good.
How Much Did the USA Spend on Afghanistan War?
According to the report, the USA has spent more than $2 trillion in its mission to eradicate the Taliban militants in Afghanistan. So, basically, it is the US taxpayers’ money spent in the pursuit that ended in disappointment without fruitful results. Afghanistan is back to square one with the Taliban. Now one can arguably say that the Taliban is even more powerful than before. The credit goes to the US army for leaving behind munitions and equipment because of difficulty carrying them across the borders.
Not only lots of money went down the drain during this war against terror in Afghanistan, but so many US and Afghani people lost their lives.
What’s gone is gone, the problem is things left behind.
According to the reports, more than $7 billion worth of military equipment was left in Afghanistan by the US army. This $7 billion worth of military equipment is part of the $18.6 billion worth of military equipment that the US provided to ANDSF (Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces) over these 16 years. Not only that much was deployed and spent to train the Afghan military; on their salaries, supplies, facilities, and even renovation, and infrastructure in the country.
Though the US army has left Afghanistan, it has left the country with an even stronger Taliban, with more advanced munitions.
Let’s break down what military equipment was left in Afghanistan by the US army upon their withdrawal.
Military Equipment Left in Afghanistan by the US Army
As you can see from infographic, there is so much left behind, reportedly munition worth $7.12 billion by the US army upon their exit from Afghanistan. Leaving behind such a number of ammunition and equipment indicates this withdrawal’s hasty nature.
According to the DoD report, some of what is left behind requires maintenance by specialized contractors. The munitions left behind included aircraft, military vehicles, helicopters, air-to-ground munitions, weapons, communication equipment, machine guns, pistols, rifles, etc.
The US army even left biometric and night vision equipment for the Taliban-controlled country.
According to CNN, the US left around 78 aircraft in Afghanistan valued at $923.3 million. The DoD report claims that many aircraft were rendered inoperable by removing all the military hardware and were procured for Afghanistan.
Then, 5 Mi-17 helicopters left in Afghanistan were transferred to Ukraine for maintenance, which the Ukrainian government had to hand over before the Russian invasion.
Besides, Ukraine also got hold of other non-standard ammunition; ball rifle ammunition, high explosive grenade cartridges, 82mm high-explosive mortar rounds, and 122mm howitzer round, as stated by the report.
Air-to-ground munitions left in Afghanistan were valued at $6.54 million and were 9,524 in number. The majority of these aircraft munitions are “non-precision”.
Out of 427,300 weapons given to Afghan forces, 300,000 have been left behind at the time of the US withdrawal.
Similarly, 40,000 out of 96,000 military vehicles were left in Afghanistan, which included 12,000 Humvees. The US army gave these vehicles to the Afghan forces.
Less than 1.537 million Specialty munitions and common small arms ammunition valued at $48 million were also left in Afghanistan
The US army almost left all the communication equipment given to ANDSF. Besides, biometric and positioning equipment, night vision, surveillance, and other specialized equipment totaling 42,000 pieces were also left.
Almost all “explosive ordinance disposal and demining equipment,” including 17,500 pieces of explosive detection, disposal, personal protective equipment, etc., did not leave the Afghan borders with the USA.
The US Has No Intentions to Get All Back
After this disappointing departure, the USA has no intention to go back to collect things from the shambles. The Department of Defense report has assured that no munitions used by the US army were left behind as were either destroyed, made inoperable, or demilitarized.
Ammunition left was given to the Afghan forces to aid the US in the fight against terror.