Many on Twitter are questioning how the Taliban leaders seen in the presidential palace after the fall of Kabul were armed with U.S. military weapons. For example:
So disheartening to see Taliban fighters — armed w/U.S Military weapons systems, M-16s and M-4s (and no determination as to how/where they obtained them) — inside Afghan presidential palace following President Ashraf Ghani’s fleeing the country. pic.twitter.com/hVF8mfkwC7
— James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) August 17, 2021
This may be the answer.
According to the Washington Post, the Taliban had been negotiating for months the surrender of Afghan military units in exchange for cash and military equipment:
The collapse of the Afghan military that has allowed the Taliban to enter Kabul without a shot fired began nearly one and a half years ago… https://t.co/3nQHNe0ql5
— susannah george (@sgreports) August 15, 2021
From the Post:
The deals, initially offered early last year, were often described by Afghan officials as cease-fires, but Taliban leaders were in fact offering money in exchange for government forces to hand over their weapons, according to an Afghan officer and a U.S. official.
Over the next year and a half, the meetings advanced to the district level and then rapidly on to provincial capitals, culminating in a breathtaking series of negotiated surrenders by government forces, according to interviews with more than a dozen Afghan officers, police, special operations troops and other soldiers.
These negotiations reportedly started after the Doha agreement in February 2020:
“The Doha agreement, designed to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan, instead left many Afghan forces demoralized, bringing into stark relief the corrupt impulses of many Afghan officials and their tenuous loyalty to the country’s central government.” https://t.co/rwkE1KvWkt
— J.J. McCullough (@JJ_McCullough) August 17, 2021
How did our intelligence people miss this one?!
According to this report, Taliban bought out local Afghan army commanders. Where did the massive cash come from & how did U.S. intel miss info about its flows? 🤔https://t.co/DWn7jNuS7b
— Husain Haqqani (@husainhaqqani) August 15, 2021
No big deal, it’s just been going on for over a year. In secret. Or something:
— Damir Marusic (@dmarusic) August 16, 2021
“Everyone was just looking out for himself”:
The Taliban defeated Afghanistan's military by trading payoffs for surrender: ‘Everyone was just looking out for himself’
— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) August 15, 2021