President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor said on August 17 that a “fair amount” of American weapons in Afghanistan have fallen into the hands of the Taliban in the last few days.
Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan: “Certainly a fair amount” of U.S. weapons “has fallen into the hands of the Taliban” pic.twitter.com/CWhUAhN6jh
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 17, 2021
Jake Sullivan was asked about the multiple billions of dollars worth of equipment left behind by the military when the president ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from the country. The troops were ordered to leave behind guns, ammunition, helicopters, ground vehicles, and much more in addition to the material provided to the Afghan security forces over the last 20 years.
He admitted that the government doesn’t have “a complete picture” of where defense materials have gone. Sullivan added that the Taliban is “certainly” not going to hand over captured equipment “at the airport.”
In an interview on August 15, Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) said that the military situation in Afghanistan is currently worse than it was before the September 11 attacks twenty years ago. Waltz also noted that the Taliban now have “massive caches” of weapons and armored vehicles.
Sullivan also admitted in an interview on August 16 that the fall of Afghanistan “unfolded at an unexpected speed.” He also stated that President Biden believed Afghan security forces would be willing to use billions of dollars in U.S. training and equipment to defend the country. Instead, they decided “not to step up,” according to Sullivan.
Contradicting his assertion that Biden had faith in the Afghan military, Sullivan also said that the president was faced with deciding whether U.S. troops should be “in the middle” of another country’s civil war when that country’s military won’t “fight to defend them.”
Sullivan also said that the White House intends to continue evacuating Americans and Afghans who work for the U.S., such as interpreters and translators.
In July, Biden stated that there would be “no circumstance” where Americans would be evacuated by airlift from the U.S. embassy. He also expressed confidence in the Afghan military forces, which he described as “as well-equipped as any army in the world.”