Former President Donald Trump, on Friday evening, Aug. 20, asked his successor to apologize for the way he is handling the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
”Joe Biden must apologize to America for allowing the military to leave before civilians and for allowing $85 billion dollars’ worth of sophisticated military equipment to be handed over to the Taliban (and Russia and China so they can copy it) rather than bringing it back to the United States!” Trump said in a statement.
Trump’s request comes after the Taliban reportedly could have seized up to 600,000 U.S. weapons following its takeover of Kabul, leading to the swift collapse of the U.S.–backed Afghan government.
According to Newsmax, the Taliban obtained the U.S.–made arms, military aircraft and armored vehicles after the U.S.–backed Afghan troops laid down their weapons. The Biden administration started pulling down American troops last week.
In the Senate, 25 Republican senators on Wednesday signed a letter to request the administration to disclose a full account of the U.S. military equipment provided to the Afghan Armed Forces in the last year, the amount disabled before the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban seizures.
”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,” they wrote. ”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.”
Republican lawmakers at the House Armed Services Committee, led by ranking member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), have also urged the Biden administration to explain what and how many U.S. weapons were obtained by the Taliban.
President Joe Biden has been defending his decision to pull out U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but in a quicker speed following the Taliban’s capture of Kabul.
In a statement last Saturday, Biden blamed the Trump administration for leaving the Taliban in the ”strongest position militarily since 2001.”
“When I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our forces and our allies’ forces out safely, or ramp up our presence, and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict,” Biden said.
“One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country,” he said. “And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”
In his remarks on Friday, Biden revealed his administration “already evacuated more than 18,000 people since July and approximately 13,000 since our military airlift began on August the 14.” The numbers include American citizens and permanent residents, as well as their families.
The president said that the administration has deployed almost 6,000 troops on the ground to facilitate the withdrawal.
Biden, who admitted “this is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history,” made no mention of the U.S. weapons seized by the Taliban.