It’s a lot easier for America to get out of Afghanistan than to get Afghanistan out of America.
One of the items on the list is the sheer amount of weapons that the Taliban are seizing. Historically many of these weapons will go on to be resold and used in wars around the world.
For example, the stores of Libyan weapons ended up being used across Africa, Israel, Syria, and Egypt.
Here’s just a brief overview of some destinations.
Press reports in English on 75 arms caches seized by government agencies in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, the Sudan, and Tunisia (the great majority from Algeria, Egypt, and Tunisia) provide an overview of trafficking from Libya
We still haven’t found the majority of the heavier stuff from Libya. That means it’s likely being stockpiled for us somewhere serious.
The good news is we weren’t handing out missiles and rockets like candy to the Afghans, and a lot of the vehicles will be mostly useless for international conflicts, but plenty of weapons will make their way around the world.
If Al Qaeda and ISIS start running major training camps in Afghanistan (and really why wouldn’t they, it’s a convenient location for them, an inconvenient one for us, and we just left in a rout), the Jihadis will be equipped to carry those weapons back to local conflicts.
And having abandoned so many weapons in Afghanistan, we’ve also created an open-air weapons market which will incentivize Jihadis to come and make it more likely that they will expand operations there.
Even if Americans leave and stay out of Afghanistan, we have civilians and troops in other places that will serve as likely targets. Especially in North Africa.
And the Afghan military is deserting and transporting some of the heavy equipment to Iran, which will be more than happy to make use of it, or pass it along to its Shiite Jihadist allies like Hezbollah or the Houthis.
Will Americans be killed by some of those weapons looted by the Taliban? Probably.
But there’s also the question of scale.
Obama’s illegal invasion of Libya freed up so many weapons and personnel that Mali almost ended up being overthrown by an Al Qaeda ally. The sheer number of weapons being seized by the Taliban may lead to the overthrows of entire countries.
Biden for the first time officially blamed President Trump for his disaster in Afghanistan. Expect to hear that talking point a lot more often as the legacy of Afghanistan proves to be as poisonous as his old boss’ intervention in Libya.