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Sen. Cruz: President Biden Seeking To Dodge Accountability for Taliban Seizing Billions of Dollars of U.S. Weapons

‘Weapons and equipment will be used by the Taliban to attack Americans and our allies, to brutalize the people of Afghanistan, and to compromise our military operations’

September 2, 2021

ABILENE, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after new evidence confirmed that the Taliban had seized and were deploying advanced U.S. weapons they captured in Afghanistan:

"The United States spent 20 years and more than $80 billion to bolster and supply the Afghan army, which because of President Biden's botched withdrawal will now end up benefiting the Taliban. The U.S. provided roughly 75,000 vehicles, including armored personnel carriers, 200 aircraft including Black Hawk helicopters and Super Tucano attack planes, and 600,000 weapons including grenade launchers, machine guns, and rifles. The capture of military assets the U.S. provided is among the most significant windfalls in history, let alone for a terrorist organization.

"In addition to these weapons, we had supplied hundreds of thousands of units of accountable items, including radios and night-vision goggles. For the last several decades, this equipment has given our fighters a crucial edge in combat and operations. We built, equipped, and trained units across our military to rely on these capabilities - and on our unrivaled access to them.

"Now these weapons and equipment will be used by the Taliban to attack Americans and our allies, to brutalize the people of Afghanistan, and to compromise our military operations. They are already reaping the rewards in propaganda by parading around in captured American materials.

"President Biden and his administration have sought to dodge accountability for these failures. They have refused to reveal the scope of the Taliban's seizures. They have said the Taliban would be unable to use such advanced equipment. They have even said they couldn't destroy heavy weapons because it would antagonize the Taliban. Meanwhile, Americans - and indeed the world - are watching the Taliban wield U.S. weapons, wear U.S. military gear, drive U.S. vehicles, and even fly U.S. aircraft. Congress will need to act expeditiously but thoroughly to understand the full extent of this latest catastrophe and address the acute national security risks that it poses."

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