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National security adviser says 'fair amount' of US defense materials given to Afghanistan are now in Taliban hands

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan (Ken Cedeno/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that a "fair amount" of the defense materials that the U.S. supplied to Afghanistan have fallen under the Taliban's control.

"We don't have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone. But certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban," he said, "and obviously we don't have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport."

The world has been witnessing the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan as the U.S. seeks to pull out of the country. And while seizing control, the Taliban has also procured military equipment supplied to Afghanistan by the U.S.

"A U.S. defense official on Monday confirmed the Taliban's sudden accumulation of U.S.-supplied Afghan equipment is enormous. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity," the Associated Press has reported.

Helicopters have been among the equipment that has been obtained by the Taliban, according to the AP.

USA Today reported that the Taliban has released photos of U.S. Black Hawk helicopters that the U.S. supplied to the Afghan army.

Sullivan explained Tuesday that Black Hawks had been supplied to the Afghan National Security Forces at the request of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani who "came to the Oval Office and asked for additional air capability, among other things."

Sullivan said that President Biden faced a decision.

"He could not give it to them ... Or he could give it to them with the hope that they could deploy it in service of defending their country. Both of those options had risks. He had to choose," Sullivan said.

Ghani recently fled amid the Taliban's takeover of the country.

Brett Bruen, who served as director of global engagement at the Obama White House, has argued in an opinion piece for USA Today that Sullivan and others should be fired over America's "botched" Afghanistan withdrawal.

"President Biden needs to fire his national security adviser and several other senior leaders who oversaw the botched execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan. He has to restructure how and with whom he is making major foreign policy decisions, allowing for more input from career experts," Bruen wrote.

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