A New report from Military Times has found that the Taliban have gotten their hands on such a large amount of US weaponry that, in some parts of the country, the US-Supported Afghan National Army is being outgunned.
Over the 16 years that the US has occupied Afghanistan, the US has spent billions of dollars training Afghan troops. This year alone, the Pentagon is asking for $5 billion in military aid to Afghanistan, an $800 million dollar increase from last year.
But due to corruption and loses on the battlefield, an immense amount of the high tech US equipment has ended up in the hands of the Taliban. Things like, armored vehicles, night vision devices, M-4s, laser illuminators and scoped optics have all ended up in the hands of the Taliban.
This has forced US troops and those that they support in Afghanistan, to go up against fighters using their own equipment.
A Marine unit has been forced to hunt for stolen Humvees, which the Taliban uses for suicide bombings.
The Taliban has made social media posts demonstrating their night vision capabilities.
In some areas of Afghanistan, the Afghan National Army is afraid to conduct night operations because they are facing an enemy with night vision and other superior equipment.
A US military official said, “Large numbers of Taliban fighters in [Uruzgan province] have night vision, Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights (ACOGs), and M-4s.” Meanwhile, US-supported Afghan forces are only fighting with M-16s, helmets and flak jackets.
The official recalled one incident where an ANA night patrol in the region suffered almost 20 casualties simply because the enemy had superior weapons.
The official said that in this particular province (Uruzgan), Afghan troops have sold ammunition to Taliban commanders to make up for their wages, which are stolen by their commanding officers.
Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has described the US war there as a “stalemate”.