DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Senators Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, joined 23 of their Republican Senate colleagues in pressing the Pentagon in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about the status of U.S. military equipment left in Afghanistan.
Ernst is a veteran of the global war on terror and serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“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,” the Senators wrote.
“It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment payed 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,” the letter added.
The senators are asking for information on the following:
- A full account of military equipment provided to the Afghan Armed Forces in the last year;
- All military equipment, owned by either the U.S. or Afghan Armed Forces, that were removed or destroyed prior to the U.S. withdrawal, or are rendered inoperable without U.S. logistics personnel;
- All U.S. military equipment that remains operational in Afghanistan;
- A list of what military equipment seized by the Taliban;
- An assessment of how long it will take the Taliban to use each of the captured equipment;
- 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
- 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.
Read the full letter below:EA98507284D44CBA5961ECA9B2A9C95B.1bd4e3a619d314417e454545c95b5c4b.08.18.21---rubio-et-al-letter-to-austin-re-afghanistan