After Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel, massacred its citizens, and took hundreds hostage, videos captured the horror and celebration in Gaza.
Experts drew attention to how American weapons, especially M14 assault rifles, were flashed in the celebratory videos.
A prominent US politician has questioned whether the Palestinian terror organization Hamas used US-made weapons and sought a probe into whether the source of the weapons was Afghanistan or Ukraine.
India also reports the use of US-made weapons and ammunition by terrorists in Kashmir.
Paradoxically, both India and Israel are allies of the United States.
But how do US-made weapons end up in the hands of terrorist organizations like Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, and Hamas in the Palestinian Territory?
US LAYING DOWN WEAPONS IN AFGHANISTAN
War is big business, but it is a bloody business, resulting in thousands of deaths around the world. The largest producer and exporter of weapons and defense equipment, the United States of America, is at the center of this big business.
US arms exports increased by 14 percent between 2013-17 and 2018-22 and accounted for 40 percent of global arms exports in 2018-22, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). ) in March 2023.
Just as it supplied weapons to Ukraine amid the country’s war with Russia, the US has provided weapons to various theaters of war throughout its history.
America’s war in Afghanistan against the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks was another such military theater, dumping billions of dollars worth of weapons and defense equipment.
But Afghanistan has never been an easy territory for any foreign power. Like the attack by Soviet Russia in 1988, the US-led NATO campaign became unsustainable.
In February 2020, US President Donald Trump signed a peace agreement with the Taliban, which included a May 2021 deadline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan. President Joe Biden, Trump’s successor, also pledged to withdraw troops but extended the deadline to August 31.
The withdrawal of foreign troops was chaotic, to say the least. By then, Taliban militias had taken control of most parts of Afghanistan, and in their haste to leave the war-torn country, US troops had left behind more than $7 billion worth of weapons and defense equipment. They later fell into the hands of the Taliban.
“US$7.12 billion worth of US-funded equipment was in the inventory of the former Afghan government when it collapsed, most of which has since been seized by the Taliban,” the US Department of Defense said in a report in August 2022. military aircraft, ground vehicles, weapons, and other military equipment, the report said.
Defense equipment included Black Hawks and other helicopters, US Humvees, and ScanEagle military drones.
Then there were sophisticated weapons like M16 assault rifles and M4 carbines that landed with anti-India and anti-Israeli forces. This is what is now turning against these two countries.
AMERICAN WEAPONS IN KASHMIR
During the Raisina Dialogue last year, then Army Chief General MM Naravane said that India had seen a rise in the number of weapons and other military equipment from Afghanistan seized in Kashmir.
Pakistan-backed terrorists operating in the Kashmir Valley are using steel-core bullets and night vision goggles left behind by US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan. American armor-piercing bullets have been used in clashes with Indian security forces, piercing soldiers’ flak jackets.
In January, NBC News, citing Indian officials, reported that Pakistan-backed terrorists were armed with M4s, M16s, and other US-made weapons and ammunition. Officials told NBC News it could be because of U.S.-funded weapons that ended up in the hands of the Taliban after the hasty U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
It was in 2020 that sophisticated US-made carbine rifles started appearing in Kashmir.
This has worried the Indian security establishment as they are more sophisticated than the AK series rifles that have been the mainstay of terrorists.
Experts have suggested that Pakistan supplies the M4 carbines used by its soldiers.
There are thriving arms bazaars in Pakistan, including one in Darra Adam Khel near Peshawar.
And it’s not like Frankenstein’s monster spared Pakistan. In September of this year, Pakistan’s interim prime minister, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, said that US military equipment, ranging from firearms to night vision goggles, had reached the Pakistani Taliban, or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan recently captured several villages in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and seized the army headquarters in Chitral.
Seizures of US-made weapons in Kashmir have surged after experts suggested the Taliban were trading arms on the black market, a claim denied by Islamic militias.
Most of the weapons found in Kashmir are from Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), an NBC News report said.
Image Source: The Washington Institute