New Delhi: US Republican Congressman Jim Banks has revealed that the Taliban now have more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 per cent of the countries in the world, the Daily Mail reported.
Banks, who served in Afghanistan as an officer in charge of supplying weapons, said: “Due to the negligence of this administration, the Taliban now have access to $85 billion worth of military equipment.”
The militant group’s metamorphosis from rag-tag guerrilla force to highly professional, impressively equipped army has been at the expense of Western taxpayers, the report said.
The UK and the US have picked up the tab not only for the eye-wateringly expensive hardware, but also the training budget — as the Taliban’s ranks have been swollen by defectors from the Afghan National Security Forces.
The irony is that the Taliban’s newfound arsenal was supposed to prevent Afghanistan falling into Taliban hands, it added.
The group appears to have helped themselves to the state-of-the-art MBITR-2 (Multi-band Intrateam Radios) favoured by US Green Berets but denied to most conventional UK personnel. They were issued to Afghan government forces.
What’s more, their weapons appear immaculately clean and well maintained, their uniforms looked washed and ironed and they carry their weapons as British soldiers are taught to carry theirs.
The transformation in the group’s appearance and capability could scarcely be more vivid or disturbing, the report said.
Sandals and shalwar kameez have been replaced by combat boots and tailored camouflage uniforms.
Ancient AK47s are nowhere to be seen. Instead today’s Taliban carry US Green Beret-issue M4 carbines with telescoping stocks.
The Taliban of 15 years ago were seldom if ever seen wearing helmets. But today their headwear is more expensive and more advanced than that worn by most British troops, it added.