Farage and Rees-Mogg debate who is to blame for Taliban takeover
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According to reports in the Associated Press (AP), an anonymous US defence official, who has not been authorised to discuss the matter publicly, has warned the Taliban has acquired huge supplies of munitions and weapons. AP reported: “A US defense official on Monday confirmed the Taliban’s sudden accumulation of US-supplied Afghan equipment is enormous.”
The news comes after the Taliban swept through Afghanistan, picking up weapons from fleeing Kabul forces on their path to the capital.
Taliban militants have been seen wielding M16s, M4s and even the Scar-H, which is most commonly used amongst Royal Marines and soldiers in the SAS.
US High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, known as Humvees, have also been nabbed by the Islamist insurgents.
The Taliban are even reported to have taken control of American drones and helicopters, including Cayuse Warrior aircraft.
Other vehicles picked up by the Taliban include $500,000 MRAP MaxxPro trucks and the armoured M1117 vehicle.
Experts believe the Afghan army was well-supplied, but President Joe Biden’s hasty departure from the Middle Eastern nation and lack of leadership ensured Afghan troops were too demoralised to defeat the Taliban.
Professor Stephen Biddle from Columbia University said: “The problem of the US withdrawal is that it sent a nationwide signal that the jig is up — a sudden, nationwide signal that everyone read the same way.”
Biddle argued the Afghans were losing the war before April but once Biden declared America would withdraw an impulse to give up without a fight “spread like wildfire.”
Estimates suggest the Taliban have just 85,000 soldiers in their ranks compared to 300,000 who had enlisted to fight for the Afghan army.
Research suggests the US spent $83billion (around £60billion) in funding, equipping and training soldiers in the Afghan National Army.
Total expenditure since 2001 is reported to have topped $1trillion.
Since the start of the conflict almost two decades ago, the US has lost 2,448 American service personnel in Afghanistan.
John Kirby, chief spokesman for Washington’s Defense Secretary, said on Monday: “Money can’t buy will. You cannot purchase leadership.”
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Doug Lute, an ex-US army lieutenant general who worked in Afghanistan during George W Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations, said: “The principle of war stands — moral factors dominate material factors.”
He added: “Morale, discipline, leadership, unit cohesion are more decisive than numbers of forces and equipment.
“As outsiders in Afghanistan, we can provide material, but only Afghans can provide the intangible moral factors.”
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