By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins wants the defense secretary to explain what happened to billions of dollars of military equipment in Afghanistan that is either now or could soon be in the hands of the Taliban.
Collins, R-Maine, was one of 25 Republican senators to sign the letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asking for the accounting. According to reports, the United States spent at least $83 billion during the past 20 years to train and supply security forces in Afghanistan.
“We write with grave concern regarding the status of U.S. military equipment left behind in Afghanistan as a result of our poorly executed withdrawal from the country,” the lawmakers wrote. “As we watched the images coming out of Afghanistan as the Taliban retook the country, we were horrified to see U.S. equipment – including UH-60 Black Hawks – in the hands of the Taliban.
“It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment paid for by U.S. taxpayers has fallen into the hands of the Taliban and their terrorist allies,” they added. “Securing U.S. assets should have been among the top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense prior to announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
According to The Associated Press, the $83 billion was part of $145 billion the country spent to rebuild Afghanistan. The United States spent an additional $837 billion to fight the war, which began in October 2001.