August 30, 2023

Two Years Later: The Federal Budget Impact of the Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal

Two years ago today, 13 brave servicemembers were killed catastrophically by a suicide bomber amid President Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal. Their needless deaths serve as a stark and solemn reminder of the importance of American leadership and what we stand to lose in the absence of it.
After the withdrawal, President Biden remarked that the mission was an “extraordinary success,” underscoring the President’s lack of foresight and his inability to put American lives first.
Under his failed leadership, U.S. servicemen were sought out and killed by terrorist suicide bombers. Afghans fell from the skies as they desperately tried to board overcrowded aircraft. Bagram Airfield was outright abandoned and left for the Taliban’s taking. Afghan families, many who welcomed our servicemembers and were instrumental in aiding our military, were left forgotten. Thousands of U.S. citizens and personnel were deserted by their own President. 
The Facts:
On top of these countless tragedies, the Biden Administration left billions of American taxpayer dollars in the hands of the Taliban. The Department of Defense confirmed that over $7 billion worth of military equipment remained in the Taliban’s possession after the botched and tumultuous withdrawal was completed.
Vital military equipment and munitions – paid for by American taxpayers and intended to keep Americans and our allies safe – were handed over to the Taliban, including:

  • $923.3 million worth of aircraft, including nearly 80 vehicles abandoned at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
  • 181,640 air-to-ground and 50,150 practice munitions ($294.8 million), with 9,200 guidance, control, assemblies, fuses, or launchers ($47.2 million)
  • Over 40,000 of the total 96,000 military vehicles the U.S. gave to the ANSF, including 12,000 military Humvees ($4.13 billion).
  • "Nearly all" of the communications equipment, including base-station, mobile, man-portable and hand-held commercial and military radio systems, and associated transmitters and encryption devices. 
  • More than 300,000 of the total 427,300 weapons the U.S. supplied Afghan forces with.
  • "Nearly all" night vision, surveillance, "biometric and positioning equipment" totaling nearly 42,000 pieces of specialized equipment. 
  • “Nearly all," of the explosive ordinance disposal and demining equipment, including 17,500 "pieces of explosive detection, electronic countermeasure, disposal and personal protective equipment" also remained in Afghanistan at the time of the withdrawal.

That was President Biden’s “extraordinary success.”
Bottom line: The House Republican Conference remains vigilant to confront these issues head on and provide oversight and accountability to the American public. It is our responsibility to be strong custodians and stewards of American taxpayers and ensure they get to keep more of their hard-earned money and their resources are being put towards improving their lives, not those of the terrorists on a mission to kill our servicemembers. The Biden Administration must not be let off scot-free through deception and lack of responsibility, especially at a time when debt and deficits continue to soar. 
For someone who claimed to be the ‘adult in the room,’ the botched military withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan proved to be anything but that.