U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) on Thursday announced that he, along with fellow Republican colleagues, has sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding accountability for the abandonment of U.S. military equipment in Afghanistan.
The letter, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), was signed by 25 Senate Republicans.
The letter reads as follows:
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.
Alabama’s junior senator on Wednesday blasted the Biden administration over the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, calling for officials to be held accountable for the handling of the United States’ exit strategy.
The administration has also received backlash over its failure to successfully evacuate Americans prior to the exit of U.S. Armed Forces.
Secretary Austin drew immense criticism after he told reporters during Wednesday’s press briefing that the United States will continue to bring to safety Americans stranded in the embattled country “until the clock runs out or we run out of capability,” further stating that the federal government doesn’t “have the capability to go out and collect up large numbers of people.”
.@SecDef Lloyd Austin: "We're going to get everyone that we can possibly evacuate, evacuated. And I'll do that as long as we possibly can until the clock runs out or we run out of capability." pic.twitter.com/A9vQATe2IQ
— The Hill (@thehill) August 19, 2021
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL