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Taliban fighters stand beside the belongings of Afghan security soldiers in Kabul on Monday. Photo: Str/Xinhua via Getty Images

The Taliban accumulated an enormous amount of U.S.-supplied guns, ammunition, helicopters, combat aircraft and more after Afghan security forces collapsed this weekend, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. spent billions of dollars over two decades to train and support the Afghan security forces, but the Taliban was the ultimate beneficiary of the decades-long investments.

  • Asked Monday if the U.S. is taking any steps to ensure military equipment does not fall into the hands of the Taliban, Pentagon logistics specialist Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor told reporters: "I don't have the answer to that question."

Driving the news: The Taliban captured modern military equipment when they overran Afghan forces across the country.

  • The Taliban accumulated firepower — including guns, ammunition and helicopters — from district centers.
  • They experienced bigger gains, including acquiring combat aircraft, when they toppled provincial capitals and military bases.

What they're saying: The Afghan army and police force were equipped with arms, but Biden officials — including the president himself — say they lacked combat motivation.

  • "Money can’t buy will. You cannot purchase leadership," John Kirby, chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, said Monday.
  • "The principle of war stands — moral factors dominate material factors," Doug Lute, a retired Army lieutenant general who help direct Afghan war strategy during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, told AP.
  • "Morale, discipline, leadership, unit cohesion are more decisive than numbers of forces and equipment. As outsiders in Afghanistan, we can provide material, but only Afghans can provide the intangible moral factors," Lute said.

By the numbers: The U.S. spent approximately $145 billion on trying to rebuild Afghanistan, per AP.

  • About $83 billion of the total went to developing and sustaining Afghanistan's army and police forces, according to AP.

Go deeper: Kabul's collapse

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2021 - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

Oct 14, 2021 - World

Pakistan Airlines halts flights to Kabul citing "heavy-handedness" of Taliban

Passengers board a Pakistan International Airlines flight in Kabul on Sept 13. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

Pakistan International Airlines on Thursday halted flights to Kabul after what it called "heavy-handedness" of Taliban authorities, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: The suspension comes after the Taliban ordered PIA to slash ticket prices, warning that the company's Afghan operations could be blocked if it refused to do so, per Reuters.

5 mins ago - World

U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as "most dangerous" crisis intensifies

The sit-in in Khartoum. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Khartoum this week amid what Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called the “worst and most dangerous" crisis of Sudan’s transition to democracy, two sources with direct knowledge tell Axios.

Driving the news: Roughly 2,000-3,000 people had joined a sit-in in Khartoum as of this afternoon, per Reuters, after protesters massed over the weekend to call on the military to bring down the government. The protests came just four weeks after a failed military coup.

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