With its quick seizure of power, the Taliban also acquired U.S. military equipment left behind by the withdrawal or abandoned by Afghan forces.
By Alessandro Arduino | 24 August 2021
THE DIPLOMAT — Capturing the enemy’s weapons has been a standard guerrilla tactic for centuries. The American Army could not have succeeded against King George III without seizing the king’s food and armaments. It is one thing to capture weapons and other materiel; it is another to be given the enemy’s gear on a silver platter.
In the images of the Taliban fighters flooding the streets of Kabul, one detail attracts attention: the lack of the ubiquitous Kalashnikov. Few Taliban appearing now carry the signature weapon of insurgent fighters, the AK-47, and its countless variants from the handmade Pakistani versions to the updated Russian AK-19. Most of the Taliban in Kabul’s street seems to prefer American M4 carbines and M16 rifles with their many gadgets attached, from expensive optics to laser sights and flashlights, an uncommon picture in contrast to just a few weeks earlier.
The answer to the question concerning the source of these small arms is straightforward: war looting. Another and more important question needs an answer: The fate of the extensive military materiel that the U.S. left behind during its withdrawal or that which was in the hands of the Afghan forces that melted so quickly away as the Taliban advanced. […]
Taliban left a mountain of cash https://t.co/6bgwGF8Kpv
— Winter Watch (@New_Nationalist) August 28, 2021
Afghanistan: Black Hawks and Humvees – military kit now with the Taliban
By Vikas Pandey and Shadab Nazmi | 29 August 2021
BBC — A video recently posted on social media showed Taliban fighters looking on as an iconic piece of US materiel (military hardware) – a Black Hawk helicopter – was piloted across Kandahar airport.
The four-blade multi-purpose aircraft was just taxiing on the tarmac, but the exercise sent a message to the world: the Taliban were no longer a group of ragtag soldiers wielding Kalashnikov assault rifles on battered pickup trucks.
Elsewhere, since the fall of Kabul on 15 August to the hard-line Islamist group, the Taliban’s fighters have been pictured showing off a host of US-made weaponry and vehicles.
Some of them were seen in complete combat gear in social media posts and couldn’t be distinguished from other special forces from across the world. There was no characteristic long beard, or traditional salwar kameez outfit, and certainly no rusted weapons. They looked the part.
They seized these weapons after troops from the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (Ands) surrendered one city after the other.
Some on social media said this made the Taliban the only extremist group with an air force. […]