WASHINGTON — After more than two decades, thousands of American lives, and nearly $83 billion in spending, the Taliban overran the US-trained Afghan security forces within a matter of days.
The militants took control of not only the country but also a massive stockpile of US-supplied weaponry, including small arms, drones, humvees, and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs).
While many were heartbroken by scenes of terrified Afghans flooding the airport in the capital city of Kabul as they desperately trying to cling to fleeing planes, police in the US are feeling resentful and perhaps even a little bit jelly that the Taliban is now armed with weapons that were earmarked for their departments.
“It’s just such a tragic loss and waste of resources,” a spokesperson for the US police union said. “If anyone should be terrorizing innocent civilians, it should be us.”
Military equipment, including firearms and vehicles designed for war zones, is often redistributed to local police departments across the country. The seizure by the Taliban will likely deprive many officers of the simple pleasure of driving through a scenic downtown area in an MRAP with the windows down and the cool air blowing through their kevlar helmets.
Some may never know the joy of slamming someone suspected of jaywalking, loitering, or panhandling onto the hood of a humvee.
“When I found out the Taliban would be getting my ARs and MRAPs, I couldn’t believe it,” said one Toledo officer. “I was so upset. I nearly hit my wife again.”