Sophisticated military equipment gifted to the Afghan National Army by British and US forces could be used by the Taliban, experts have warned.
For years, US, British and Nato forces have supplied the Afghan security forces tanks, weapons, armoured vehicles, helicopters and sensitive communications equipment so they could resist the insurgents without Western help.
However, now the Afghan National Army has been routed, huge quantities of military hardware has been found, often in pristine condition, after its soldiers fled their bases.
Equipment meant to be used against the Taliban has instead now become part of their arsenal.
Experts warned that although the equipment was of limited use without training, maintenance and spares, the Taliban could either be given help from Pakistan or they could coerce former pilots by threatening their families.
Well, yes. Except this sort of hardware requires a lot of maintenance. A lorra lot.
I even know someone, have been mildly in business with for decades, someone who supplies such spare parts and maintenance. To, actually, these very bits of kit often enough.
It’s not even that they’ll not be able to get those spare parts to do the maintenance. It’s that the economy simply won’t support their doing so. Not, even, on cost grounds. There’s simply not the depth of knowledge and skill to keep complex kit operating.
To take just the one example, to keep those helicopters in the air they need maintenance teams from the US or ex-Soviet states (depends on which bird is being talked about). Local knowledge ain’t enough.
So, those birds are gong to fly for weeks, maybe at a push months and certainly not years.