SecDef draws ire of GOP after missing Afghanistan weapons report deadline

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Afghan soldiers in captured American vehicle
Afghan soldiers in captured American vehicle JAVED TANVEER/AFP via Getty Images

More than two dozen Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin castigating him for failing to submit a report on U.S. weapons left behind in Afghanistan, The Hill reported Tuesday.

"We write to you with deep concern regarding the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD) non-compliance with Congressionally mandated reporting of United States property, equipment, and supplies left behind after the disastrous August withdrawal from Afghanistan," the letter read.

The letter points out that, under the terms of a government funding bill passed in September, the Department of Defense was required to submit a report on weapons and military supplies lost during the withdrawal by Dec. 29.

No such report has been submitted.

One watchdog group estimated last month that $2.9 billion worth of American war matériel had fallen into the hands of the Taliban. In November, CNN reported the Taliban had staged a military parade in which captured U.S. armored vehicles and small arms featured prominently. An October story in The New York Times included interviews with Afghan weapons dealers whose shops were full of American-made guns, grenades, and night vision goggles.

Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) authored the letter. Other signatories included Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).

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