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Xiden’s “extraordinary success” continues in Afghanistan, with Americans still desperate to escape and American equipment flooding the local arms market. We still lack a firm, trustworthy accounting of the number of American citizens, children and spouses of American citizens, and permanent legal residents abandoned by Xiden/Blinken/Austin/McKenzie to the Taliban. Meanwhile, the Afghan National Army inventory has turned into a shopping list for the neighborhood weapons merchants.
Americans left behind. Does anyone really believe the “around 100” figure being floated by the State Department? A Fox News foreign correspondent on the ground in Kabul says the math does not add up when he has personally spoken to dozens. It looks like a campaign to erase thousands abandoned by Xiden/Blinken/Austin/McKenzie.
Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst warns that the State Department is “underestimating the number of legal permanent residents trapped in Afghanistan,” noting Monday that a senior State official claimed that around 100 US citizens and legal residents are still waiting to get out, when Yingst noted, “I’ve personally met dozens.”
Indeed, independent estimates put the total of green-card holders in the thousands before US forces bugged out at the end of August, and State doesn’t claim more than a few hundred made it out.
Piece sales, who’s buying? Crooked soldiers selling off equipment are an age-old story. Even in America, soldiers occasionally “lose” equipment in the field, only to pocket drinking money from slightly dodgy military surplus shopkeepers. Then there is the problem of U.S. command failure to account for equipment on American-unit books. In 2014, lost accountability was reported at “15,600 pieces of missing equipment valued at approximately $419.5 million.” So, we should not be shocked that crooked Afghan supply sergeants are cashing in big league. Consider this excerpt from the New York Times story on U.S. weapons in Afghan gun shops:
In interviews, three weapons dealers in Kandahar said that dozens of Afghans have set up weapons shops in Afghanistan’s south, selling American-made pistols, rifles, grenades, binoculars and night-vision goggles. The equipment was originally provided to the Afghan security forces under a U.S. training and assistance program that cost American taxpayers more than $83 billion through two decades of war.
During the insurgency, the Taliban eagerly sought out American-supplied weapons and gear. But now much of that weaponry is being sold to Afghan entrepreneurs because Taliban demand has eased with the end of combat, the gun merchants said. They say that many gun dealers have smuggled the weapons to Pakistan, where demand for American-made weapons is strong.
[ . . . ]
One gun merchant, Esmatullah, said he opened a shop in Kandahar Province roughly eight months ago, after the Taliban seized control of the immediate area. Before that, he said, he operated as a roving gun merchant, visiting government bases to buy weapons and ammunition from soldiers and police desperate for cash and fed up with a government in Kabul that they believed had abandoned them.
“We used to work as a mobile team,” he said. “We would meet many government soldiers and officers to buy weapons from them. After that we would take those weapons to the Taliban and sell it to them, or to anyone who would give us a good price.”
So nice to know we are helping fuel local, private gun ownership, except the prices point to the biggest, baddest bully boys getting American gear, with an M4 going for about five times the price of an AK-47 this year. Now, if only we had issued M4 carbines and M9 pistols to all those Americans Xiden and McKenzie left behind. McKenzie failed so badly as a retriever that the evacuation mission would have been better run by Spuds MacKenzie.Published in