Paul went on to say, “If it[‘s] true, it’s another sad instance of just the most incompetent withdrawal we’ve ever seen in our history. But yeah, we’ll await the facts as they come forward. But yes, I’m not surprised that we are — we saw a bombing that was done to show that we aren’t as feckless as it looked like we were in the withdrawal. And in the end, that they may have made a mistake in it, that will be one more disastrous fact after another.”
He then added, “The one thing that we did know and we did have eyes on that we could have blown up were all of the helicopters we left, all of the planes we left, all of the humvees…there were a lot of things that could’ve been blown up on the way out, even if you hadn’t predicted the Taliban was going to take over, certainly, that equipment should have been destroyed on the way out.
Instead, an isolated attack somewhere, which may or may not have killed its intended target. But this has been a long-standing problem with some of the drone attacks: it may even sometimes get to their target, but if they get ten or 15 innocent people in the same neighborhood as the target, it ends up creating antipathy that really may, in the end, be worse than the initial strike.”
The comments come one month after Afghanistan's ministry of defense posted on social media photographs of seven brand new helicopters arriving in Kabul delivered by the United States.
"They'll continue to see a steady drumbeat of that kind of support, going forward," U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters a few days later at the Pentagon. In a matter of weeks, however, the Taliban had seized most of the country, as well as any weapons and equipment left behind by fleeing Afghan forces. Videos showed the advancing insurgents inspecting long lines of vehicles and opening crates of new firearms, communications gear and even military drones. "Everything that hasn't been destroyed is the Taliban's now," one U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
Current and former U.S. officials are concerned that those weapons could be used to kill civilians, and be seized by other militant groups such as Islamic State to attack U.S.-interests in the region, or even potentially be handed over to adversaries including China and Russia.