On Sunday, Taliban fighters performed a military parade in Kabul as a show of force. They displayed captured American armoured vehicles and Russian helicopters as part of their gradual transition from insurgents to standing armies.
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Taliban using leftover stockpile of weaponry
The Taliban have been rebel combatants for two decades. But since their takeover of Afghanistan this year, they have been overhauling their forces. After the old West-backed government fell in August, the Taliban have been using the massive stockpile of weaponry and equipment left behind.
Military Parade as Show of Force
The Taliban held the parade in conjunction with the graduation of 250 newly trained soldiers. Enayatullah Khwarazmi, a spokesman for the defense ministry, stated this.
Hundreds of M117 armoured security vehicles from the United States drove slowly up and down a main Kabul route, with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers were armed with M4 assault rifles made in the United States. With Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s departure from Afghanistan, U.S. troops in the country disintegrated. This allowed the Taliban to seize control of important military assets.
According to Taliban officials, they will further incorporate former Afghan National Army pilots, mechanics, and other professionals into a new army. This army has also begun wearing conventional military uniforms rather than the traditional Afghan troops’ clothes.
US Military Aid to Afghanistan in the Past
From 2002 to 2017, the US government transferred more than $28 billion worth of defense articles and services to the Afghan government. These included weapons, ammunition, vehicles, night-vision devices, aircraft, as well as surveillance systems. Last year, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (Sigar) released a report on this.
Retreating Afghan soldiers had flown some of the planes into neighbouring Central Asian countries, but others were passed down to the Taliban. It’s uncertain how many are currently operational. After the Taliban takeover, US troops had a chaotic evacuation operation before flying out of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. At that time, they also damaged more than 70 planes, dozens of armoured vehicles, and deactivated air defenses.
The majority of the weapons and equipment used by Taliban troops are those supplied by the United States to the old American-backed government in Kabul. The States had done this in order to build an Afghan national force capable of battling the Taliban.