The Taliban Controls a Vast Array of Weapons After America’s Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Afghan, coalition forces advance into Taliban heartland British Lt. Col. Andrew Harrison, 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment commander, conducts a shura with Tor Ghai village elders after ISAF and ANA secured the village during a recent operation. (Photo courtesy of Task Force Helmand Public Affairs)

When the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan last month, the group took possession of a U.S.-funded weapons stockpile worth tens of billions of dollars.

The U.S. invested nearly $83 billion in bolstering the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), more than $24 billion of which went to funding weapons, vehicles and other equipment, according to a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report published in July. The amount of funding for weapons, vehicles and equipment is based on a 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimate that roughly 70% of the investment went towards other budget items like training.

In the aftermath of the shocking collapse of the Western-backed Afghan government last month, U.S. defense officials estimated that Taliban militants took dozens of aircraft including Blackhawk helicopters and thousands of vehicles, communications equipment and weapons. Republican lawmakers demanded the Biden administration provide them with a full accounting of the equipment that was in the Taliban’s possession while GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee introduced a bill requiring the White House to share the information with Congress.

Read More

Commentary: Joe Biden’s Top 10 Blunders

Joe Biden outside

As I’ve watched the events of the past few weeks – and thought about the nature of Joe Biden’s young presidency – I began to ask myself: How much more of this can we take?

In just seven months, President Biden has overseen a remarkable number of complete blunders. To make sense of them all and consider how to overcome them, I decided to make a list of them. Of course, it would take months of time and writing to list all the errors Biden has made in his 48 years in politics, so I decided to start at his inauguration in January. These are roughly in chronological order. It seemed impossible to rank them as so many of them could have lasting, unforeseeable consequences.

1 – Bipartisan Baloney

As I write in my upcoming book, Beyond Biden, which will be released on Nov. 2, the first major mistake Biden made was immediately failing to live up to the pledges he made in his inaugural address. In his inaugural address, Biden said: “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.”

Read More

Senator Marsha Blackburn Warns Companies Against Business with Iran

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 14 other Republican Senators issued a letter to the international business community warning against resuming business with Iran. 

The opportunity to resume business with Iran comes as President Joe Biden and his administration officials may repeal some sanctions in order to facilitate negotiations to return to a nuclear deal similar to the one implemented by President Obama in 2015. 

Read More

Commentary: Biden Must Reverse Course on Iran Before It’s Too Late

President Joe Biden walks along the Colonnade with the Combatant Commander nominees U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson on Monday, March 8, 2021, along the Colonnade of the White House.

Media outlets around the world recently reported on leaked audio comments in which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif admitted that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls all of Iran’s foreign policy decisions.  Although President Joe Biden was careful to mention neither Zarif nor Iran in his speech before Congress last month, Zarif’s embarrassingly candid revelations have direct implications for Biden’s entire Iran policy: namely, it underscores that reducing economic sanctions in order to moderate the Iranian regime cannot work.

For decades, U.S. policy toward Iran has produced disappointing results, largely because American administrations have underestimated the entrenched ideology of Iran’s theocratic dictatorship and mistakenly assumed the regime can be tamed by conciliatory diplomacy.  Western efforts to placate Tehran have failed consistently since the revolutionaries took power in 1979, yet recent reports indicate President Biden is in the process of repeating this failure. 

Just as the Obama administration did with its disastrous 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration is now seeking to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for temporary commitments from Tehran to curb its nuclear program.  A senior State Department official recently revealed that the Biden administration is reviewing all U.S. terrorism and human rights sanctions on Iran since 2017 to assess whether those sanctions were “legitimately imposed,” and that some sanctions will need to be lifted to ensure Tehran is “benefiting” from the nuclear deal.  Like Obama, Biden hopes that relaxing economic pressure can convince the regime to put aside its nuclear ambitions, focus on Iran’s economy and people, stop bankrolling terrorist proxies, and become a normal member of the international community. 

Read More