US may use drone strikes to destroy billions of dollars worth of military hardware left in Afghanistan

Author: Parsely, David

The US may use drone strikes in Afghanistan to destroy military hardware left behind during its evacuation of Kabul in order to prevent the Taliban from using it or selling it to terrorist groups and rogue nations.

A US defence source has told i that the Pentagon “hasn’t ruled out the possibility” of bombing equipment worth billions of dollars – such as Black Hawk helicopters, light attack aircraft, armoured transport vehicles, and more than 3,000 Humvees – in order to ensure they are inoperable.

The Afghan Air Force was operating 167 aircraft at the end of June, according to a report by the US-based Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. However, many are believed to have been decommissioned and rendered redundant in the lead-up to the evacuation deadline for US troops.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) declined to comment on the likelihood of drone strikes to destroy the abandoned military kit.

A spokesman for the DoD said: “I’m not going to speak to what the ultimate disposition of this equipment may be.”

However, he added the US was not concerned the hardware poses a threat to western nations that formed the coalition in Afghanistan.

He told i: “We are aware there is likely a large amount of equipment provided to Afghan forces now in Taliban hands. We are not concerned with the loss of any significant technological or sensitive capability – the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces were not provided with these kinds of capabilities.

“While seizing this equipment may be beneficial to the Taliban, it does not represent a threat to the US, allies or partners”.

US Defence experts also suggested the Taliban will not have the expertise to maintain any of the aircraft for long.

Professor Michael Desch, from the International Security Center at the University of Notre Dame, told i the full article here