WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – About a month ago, Afghanistan’s ministry of defense posted on social media photographs of seven brand new helicopters arriving in Kabul delivered by the United States.
“They’ll continue to see a steady drumbeat of that kind of support, going forward,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters a few days later at the Pentagon.
In a matter of weeks, however, the Taliban had seized most of the country, as well as any weapons and equipment left behind by fleeing Afghan forces.
Video showed the advancing insurgents inspecting long lines of vehicles and opening crates of new firearms, communications gear and even military drones.
“Everything that hasn’t been destroyed is the Taliban’s now,” one U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.