America's Failed Afghan Policy Wreaking Havoc in South Asia
American weapons left behind in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2021 have found their way into the hands of terrorists, who are using sophisticated arms against both Pakistan and India in the region.
America's failed Afghan policy is the main source of instability in South Asia, a Pakistani strategic affairs pundit has said.
"I believe that America's failed Afghan policy is wreaking havoc in South Asia. We have seen multiple cases in Pakistan, where TTP* and other terrorist groups used the American leftover weapons to target Pakistani forces and civilians," Umair Aslam, the founder of Global Defense Insight, an Islamabad-based defense publication house, told Sputnik India.
"In the Mianwali airbase attack, terrorists used American weapons
against Pakistani forces and unfortunately, TTP also has the back support of the Taliban**
government in Afghanistan," he added.
American Weapons Causing Distress in South Asia
Aslam's comments came in the wake of Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar's
remarks in which he highlighted that after the US-led NATO forces pulled out of Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul at the hands of the Taliban in August 2021, advanced American weapons were acquired by terrorist groups
"We believe that when the Americans and NATO left Afghanistan, their small weapons fell into the hands of terrorist groups. Considering the situation in Afghanistan, they had high self-confidence, and based on that they waged war against the Pakistani government," Kakar stated in a recent interview.
Previously, reports suggested that American weapons left in Afghanistan made their way to India's Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir, where these arms were being used by anti-India groups.
Estimated Value of US Defense Platforms in Afghanistan
According to previously reported estimates from the US Department of Defense, military equipment worth about USD 7.1 billion was left behind in Afghanistan.
Additionally, military vehicles, sophisticated weapons, and ammunition were left disarrayed in the hands of the Taliban.
Like Aslam, Dr. Priyanka Singh
, who is an Associate Fellow at India's premier military think tank, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), America's decision to abandon their military platforms in Afghanistan
was a sheer reflection of their careless attitude
"The issue of residual US arms left behind in Afghanistan reflects sheer carelessness on America's part. The bloodshed and uncertainty on the eve of the Taliban takeover further showed US apathy towards gauging the aftermath- the horrible ramifications of their hasty haphazard exit," Singh said in a conversation with Sputnik India.
Despite its perpetual presence in terms of strategic interests and goals, the fact remains the US is geographically distant from the South Asian region and, hence, shielded by the aftereffects of such acts of omission, she pointed out.
Taliban Have Become Arms Dealers of the US Stockpile
Singh observed that over the past two years since America left Afghanistan, reports have come up as to how the Taliban have become arms dealers of the left-behind stock.
"Reports from J&K have also pointed to seizures of sophisticated weapons from terrorists- otherwise considered unusual in the course of militancy in the former state," the international relations analyst concluded.
*A terrorist organization banned in Russia and India.
**The Taliban is under UN sanctions for extremism.