Sen. Cassidy and others push Biden on Taliban seizing U.S. military equipment

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WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 02: U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) leaves the Senate Chambers in the Capitol Building on August 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate has moved on to the amendments process this week for the legislative text of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which aims to improve roads, bridges, dams, climate resiliency and broadband Internet access. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRPROUD) Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy and 24 other Republican senators pushed for President Joe Biden and his administration to hold themselves accountable for the American, tax-payer funded military equipment that have fallen into the hands of the Taliban.

The senators wrote that before the announcement of removing troops, securing the equipment should have been one of the top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The senators that have signed the letter along with Cassidy include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, etc.

Cassidy has called for hearings to investigate Biden’s withdrawal of troops in a statement he released on Monday, Aug. 16.

In his statement, which is attached above, Cassidy said that the exit in Afghanistan was poorly planned and executed.

Read the full letter the senators wrote below:

Dear Secretary Austin:

We write with grave concern regarding the status of U.S. military equipment left behind in Afghanistan as a result of our poorly executed withdrawal from the country. As we watched the images coming out of Afghanistan as the Taliban retook the country, we were horrified to see U.S. equipment – including UH-60 Black Hawks – in the hands of the Taliban.

It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment paid for by U.S. taxpayers has fallen into the hands of the Taliban and their terrorist allies. Securing U.S. assets should have been among the top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense prior to announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan. We therefore request detailed information on the following:

1. A full account of military equipment provided to the Afghan Armed Forces in the last year;

2. All military equipment, owned by either the U.S. or Afghan Armed Forces, that was removed or destroyed prior to the U.S. withdrawal, or is rendered inoperable without U.S. logistics personnel;

3. All U.S. military equipment that remains operational in Afghanistan;

4. A list of what military equipment has been seized by the Taliban;

5. An assessment of how long it will take the Taliban to use each of the captured equipment;

6. An assessment of the likelihood that the Taliban will seek to work with Russia, Pakistan, Iran, or the People’s Republic of China for training, fuel, or infrastructure necessary to utilize the equipment they do not have the capabilities to use on their own; and

7. Any efforts by the administration, planned or underway, to recapture or destroy equipment that remains in Afghanistan and is at risk of being used by terrorist entities.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. 

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