That image of a force without a lot of resources, with members showing off civilian clothes, outdated weapons and wearing sandals or slippers it is gradually being deconstructed with the “new” Taliban, which, at least in its army, is modernizing itself.
It is estimated that the Taliban inherited, with the withdrawal of American forces, R$93 billion in abandoned weapons and military vehicles, including nearly 200,000 firearms and 20,000 Humvees seized from the Afghan Army. There are also hundreds of armored vehicles resistant to landmines.
US intelligence officials fear there are about 150 helicopters and planes for Taliban insurgents to use, including 45 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, told the “Daily Mail”.
Everything is very new for the militia. Images posted on social media seem to show extremists taking an abandoned Black Hawk helicopter for a “ride” near Kandahar. The helicopter arrived and taxied on the desert runway, but the pilot was unable to make the aircraft fly.
Seven Black Hawk helicopters, which cost about BRL 110 million each, arrived in Afghanistan last month, before the Taliban took control of Kabul. The aircraft type is considered one of the most agile for combat operations.
One of the clearest portraits of the Taliban’s military “turn of the page” is the special forcel baptized Badri 313. Its members were “americanized“, wearing American uniforms and equipment confiscated from the Afghan Army, leaving behind the common image of an Afghan fundamentalist fighter. The extremists painted the slogan “Victorious Force” on the side of an M1117 armored transport, made in the US at a cost of R$4 million.
“When an armed group gets their hands on American-made weapons, it’s a kind of status symbol. It’s a psychological victory.”, told the website “The Hill” Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy.
Meanwhile, in its campaign to reform the country, the Taliban imposes on civilians a series of changes in customs, unleashed during two decades of occupation by US forces, including the prohibition of music and the use of jeans, another American symbol.