Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) claimed that the United States left behind $85 billion of military equipment to the Taliban amid the chaotic evacuation process.
“No one involved should be able to keep their job after that,” Boebert claimed.
We left behind $85 billion of military equipment to terrorists who chant “Death to America”.
No one involved should be able to keep their job after that.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) August 31, 2021
But Boebert is incorrect.
In a recent statement, former President Donald Trump claimed that the Taliban had ended up in possession of $83 million in weaponry.
“ALL EQUIPMENT should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States, and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost.” he said.
This claim was fact-checked by The Washington Post which noted that while the $83 billion number “is not invented out of whole cloth,” it “reflects all the money spent to train, equip and house the Afghan military and police — so weapons are just a part of that.”
“U.S. military equipment was given to Afghan security forces over two decades. Tanks, vehicles, helicopters and other gear fell into the hands of the Taliban when the U.S.-trained force quickly collapsed. The value of these assets is unclear, but if the Taliban is unable to obtain spare parts, it may not be able to maintain them,” the outlet noted.
It stressed that “the value of the equipment is not more than $80 billion.”
“That’s the figure for all of the money spent on training and sustaining the Afghan military over 20 years. The equipment portion of that total is about $24 billion — certainly not small change — but the actual value of the equipment in the Taliban’s hands is probably much less than even that amount,” the outlet concluded.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.