With the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and the seizure of tens of billions of dollars of US equipment that followed, the next question became whether a bunch of guys in sandals with rusty AK-47s could actually operate any of it.
Well, if a new video is any indication, the answer is yes. Blackhawk helicopters that now make up the Taliban’s arsenal were seen flying over Khandahar Province. And because Twitter allows Taliban propagandists to exist on their platform while they ban former US presidents, it’s being rubbed in our faces.
As you can see, there’s a man hanging from the helicopter as it flys over the city. While the claim that the video shows someone being hung and killed has gone viral. I’m not so sure. I’ve watched the video multiple times and it does look that way. But there’s another picture that appears to show the man hanging from a sling with his hand raised. Click on the bottom picture and zoom in to see what I’m talking about.
But whether the man is being killed or it’s a Taliban member taking a joy-ride, the bigger issue here is that the Blackhawk is in the air at all. I’m a commercial pilot. I could not get into a Blackhawk and get it off the ground without immediately wrapping it around the nearest light pole. To the extent that someone largely untrained could perhaps fly a Cessna for a few minutes without killing themselves, you can’t do that with a helicopter, much less one as complicated as a Blackhawk.
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That means the Taliban must be in possession of some number of Afghan Air Force defectors who are now willing to aid the terrorist government. In other words, those are your tax dollars at work, almost certainly used to train whoever is behind the stick. Don’t you just feel great about that investment?
Of course, just days ago, the Biden administration was insisting that the Taliban didn’t have the technical know-how to use much of the equipment that they had captured. Like much of what the president and his cohorts have said the last month, that turned out to not be true. And if they can fly Blackhawks, they can drive M113s and use night-vision goggles.
This entire thing is just a disaster. The Taliban now have a more capable fighting force, with more advanced technology than many NATO nations. While long-term maintenance may be an issue, you can expect their coming relationships with China and Pakistan to pay dividends there.
Ted Cruz’s communications advisor commented on the absurdity of what we are seeing today.
I know I’m probably spitting into the wind at this point in wanting accountability, but I hope Cruz and other Republicans will keep pressing this issue. This isn’t something that should be allowed to blow over. If we have to wait until after 2022 to start investigations, so be it. But they need to happen no matter the timeframe. What the Biden administration has done here is perhaps the biggest foreign policy blunder since the 1970s.