The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan is still haunting the Biden administration. Last week, GOP lawmakers called out the administration for missing the deadline to submit a report about the military equipment left behind.
On Friday, Republican lawmakers submitted a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. According to a government spending bill, the administration was required to submit a report on the equipment by Dec. 29, 2021. However, the administration missed the deadline, The Hill reported.
“It is with gravest concern that even after a three-month window to produce the required information, the DOD still has not given Congress an accurate accounting of United States equipment still in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where terrorist groups are reconstituting,” the letter read, according to The Hill.
According to the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which was passed in late September and funded the federal government through Dec. 3, the administration was required to submit to Congress a report on the “disposition of United States property, equipment and supplies, including property, equipment and supplies” that was in Afghanistan.
There were billions of dollars worth of military equipment left behind in Afghanistan. Once the U.S. withdrew, all the state-of-the-art equipment and weapons fell into the hands of the Taliban.
After the withdraw, some claimed that the equipment left behind wouldn’t do the Taliban much good — since the military had disabled much of it before evacuating.
Though there were Humvees, Black Hawks and drones all left behind, they were supposedly stripped before the Western forces left, according to Forbes.
“These vehicles had all been stripped of sensitive electronics prior to being gifted to the Afghan Army or left by NATO forces,” the outlet explained.
But while the Taliban may not be able to use all the equipment or gain sensitive intelligence from their operating systems, there was plenty of loot left behind for them.
Now that billions of dollars worth of tax-paid, military equipment is in the hand of terrorists, GOP lawmakers are insisting on accountability from the administration.
“Biden’s failed withdrawal from Afghanistan needlessly left behind American citizens and Afghan allies. Americans deserve to know their taxpayer dollars are being put to good use by providing for the rescue of those left stranded, so we must have clarity and accountability from the Department of State,” GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York told Fox News.
Other Republicans argued that this lack of transparency from the administration also hinders Congress from having proper oversight.
“This lack of information prevents Congress from being able to accurately and effectively conduct oversight over the tens of billions of dollars of equipment invested in Afghanistan over the past 20 years and creates vulnerabilities in our national security,” the letter from GOP lawmakers read, according to The Hill.
“Congress should not have to wait until the [National Defense Authorization Act’s] March 2022 deadline to receive this critical information concerning Afghanistan. That is why Congress required your department to comply by December 29, 2021,” the lawmakers added.
This is not an unreasonable request since Congress needs to know just how much was left behind in Afghanistan.
This not only clarifies how much equipment the Taliban now has, but it also demonstrates simple fiscal responsibility.
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