The sudden and shaky withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan has embarrassed the Biden government to no end. What can be seen as an attempt to conceal a botched-up exit strategy, the Biden officials are now deleting official data of military equipment deployed in Afghanistan from Federal websites.
A Forbes report based on an admission obtained from the State Department, suggests that the Biden government has instructed federal agencies to erase data of official reports detailing dollars flushed in the 20 years of war in Afghanistan.
The audits and reports asked to be scrubbed include the $82.9 billion spent on military equipment and training provided to the Afghan security forces since 2001. These entail the Black Hawk helicopters, armoured vehicles, hand grenades, night vision devices and more.
Reportedly the US govt has spent billions on 208 aircraft and helicopters; 75,000 war vehicles – including 22,000 Humvees, 50,000 tactical vehicles and nearly 1,000 mine-resistant vehicles; and 600,000 weapons – including 350,000 M4 and M16 rifles, 60,000 machine guns, and 25,000 grenade launchers in the past 20 years of its presence in Afghanistan.
The Biden government has justified its action by saying that ‘it is a move to protect Afghan allies.’ “The safety of our Afghan contacts is of utmost importance to us,” said a spokesperson.
“The State Department advised other federal agencies to review their web properties for content that highlights cooperation/participation between an Afghan citizen and the USG or a USG partner and remove from public view if it poses a security risk,” he said further.
However, it is imperative to note that the Biden administration’s excuse is just an empty defence. In a misguided attempt at evacuation, the US government has already handed over a list of Afghans to the Taliban for clearance.
Audit reports that do not identify military personnel also erased
The Biden officials claimed that the exercise was being undertaken to safeguard the military officials who stood by them in the 20 years of war. However, two reports which did not identify any personnel but just quantified military equipment were also taken down.
A Government Accountability Office spokesperson confirmed, “The State Department requested we temporarily remove and review reports on Afghanistan to protect recipients of US assistance that may be identified through our reports and thus subject to retribution.”
A Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) official also admitted that they have received requests to pull down reports from public view.
“In recent days, some SIGAR reports have been temporarily removed from the agency’s public website due to ongoing security concerns in accordance with guidance received from the U.S. Department of State. This is in line with actions taken by other U.S. federal agencies and is out of an abundance of caution,” said the SIGAR spokesperson.
The Taliban are currently in possession of military equipment worth over $80 billions which the Biden administration chose to dump in Afghanistan.
Taliban parade captured US military equipment
Meanwhile, the Taliban on Wednesday paraded the captured Humvees outside Afghanistan’s second-biggest city, Kandahar decorated with white-and-black Taliban flags attached to aerials.
Pick-up trucks laden with supporters cruised by the convoy of military vehicles armed with heavy weapons and machine guns.
Videos of the Taliban trying to fly the Black Hawks have also been doing the rounds on social media.