Rep. Dan Meuser, decrying President Joe Biden's actions concerning Afghanistan, said on Newsmax Thursday there are many questions the administration must face, including the decision to leave behind expensive U.S.-made weaponry including Black Hawk helicopters.
The Pennsylvania Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America" that it's his "understanding" that 158 of the million-dollar aircraft was left behind for the Taliban to seize.
"That is a billion dollars worth of Black Hawk helicopters left behind," said Meuser. "Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi refers to this as leaving some stuff behind. These people are thinking in an inverse manner (compared) to how my constituents certainly feel about this issue, and I believe, most rational members of Congress."
The actual amount of equipment seized by the Taliban, or even whether any Black Hawks or the other aircraft is still operable, is not yet being reported by the federal government, reports Defense One.
According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, as of June 30, the Afghan Air Force had just over 200 planes and helicopters, the site reports.
Of that, just 167 was available for missions, with most operating from Kabul and Kandahar, the special inspector report indicates.
Last weekend, Twitter postings purported to show Black Hawks and other helicopters that had been seized by the Taliban at the Kandahar Airport, but their authenticity has not been confirmed.
Not all of the Afghan military's aircraft came from the United States. According to the report, the Afghan government had 50 American-made MD-530 attack helicopters, and its Air Force had been flying the Black Hawks and Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, among other planes.
According to the report, the United States gave the Afghan Air Force more than 130 aircraft over the last 20 years, and in July the Defense Department said it would be providing the Afghan Air Force with 35 more Black Hawks and three A-29 Super Tucanos, but just three of the new Black Hawks were delivered last month.
Defense One reports that much of the equipment that has been seized is in poor repair and missing parts, including engines, and it remains in doubt that many with the Taliban would know how to fly, maintain, or arm the helicopters and planes.
Meanwhile, Meuser, responding to Biden's Wednesday interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, said it is "astounding" that Biden planned to surrender Afghanistan to terrorists and that the president said the chaos that happened once the country fell was inevitable. He added that he hopes the House Foreign Affairs Committee will have a hearing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken so it can ask some "real questions."
"Not only is our standing throughout the world in crisis, but you have China informing Taiwan that they had better cooperate with mainland China, with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) because America is not going to be there for you," said Meuser. "By the way, we released all of the known terrorists out of prisons in Afghanistan. We emptied the prisons and we have an open border...all their mistakes, unfortunately, work against America."
He also said there is "no rational explanation" about why the United States removed the military from Afghanistan before American civilians.
"This is just an outright, created crisis that could have been avoided, that has long-term repercussions and ramifications," said Meuser.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said the United States may not be able to get all Americans out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31, and Meuser said he couldn't believe that comment.
"The idea of maintaining this Aug. 31 date, I feel that's equivalent to the captain of the Titanic keeping his arrival date after hitting an iceberg," said Meuser. "What are you people talking about? You have a real crisis here."
At least it seems that there is "some evacuation" taking place after authorities spoke with Taliban leaders to demand American citizens be given safe ways to get to the Kabul airport to leave, but still, "are we informing the Taliban that should they perform the atrocities that they have in the past and harm Americans along the way, the full might of NATO and the American military force will be used against them? Are these conversations taking place? They didn't seem that doesn't seem so. They need to."
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