Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to President Joe Biden, admitted Tuesday that "a fair amount" of United States military weapons fell into the hands of Taliban terrorists when they swiftly took control of Afghanistan.
But what, quantitatively speaking, is a "fair amount"? New videos suggest that Sullivan may have been understating just how many American arms the Taliban seized.
What do the videos show?
With the American military presence now limited to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, billions of dollars' worth of military arms were left behind as American forces were ordered to leave their installations and Afghan security forces, which were armed in part by American tax dollars, collapsed.
Videos circulating on social media show Taliban forces seizing thousands of firearms and ammunition.
One video showed thousands of various rifles, a seemingly endless number; body armor; and other assorted military equipment — all now in the hands of Taliban terrorists.
Another video showed Taliban terrorists raiding a weapons depot, putting hundreds of rifles into the back of a truck.
Other videos showed:
As it has already been reported, Taliban terrorists have also seized U.S. drones and military vehicles.
How did this happen?
The Washington Post detailed the Afghan government corruption that helped facilitate the Taliban's swift victory and also explains how so many American arms fell into the hands of terrorists.
From the Post:
The spectacular collapse of Afghanistan's military that allowed Taliban fighters to walk into the Afghan capital Sunday despite 20 years of training and billions of dollars in American aid began with a series of deals brokered in rural villages between the militant group and some of the Afghan government's lowest-ranking officials.
The deals, initially offered early last year, were often described by Afghan officials as cease-fires, but Taliban leaders were in fact offering money in exchange for government forces to hand over their weapons, according to an Afghan officer and a U.S. official.
Over the next year and a half, the meetings advanced to the district level and then rapidly on to provincial capitals, culminating in a breathtaking series of negotiated surrenders by government forces, according to interviews with more than a dozen Afghan officers, police, special operations troops and other soldiers.
By all accounts, the amount of American military equipment seized by the Taliban cost billions of taxpayer dollars. Still, neither the Biden administration nor the military have given any indication that U.S. firepower will be recovered.
When asked by a reporter on Monday what steps the U.S. military was taking to recovery U.S. military assets, Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor said, "I don't have the answer to that question."