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The Afghanistan Debacle, A Shocking Update – With Rudy Atallah: What Happened to the billions of dollars of equipment that the Biden Administration left behind in Afghanistan? Did the government really destroy weapons of war at the Bagram Airfield? How many Americans were actually left behind? Why should the US have kept the costly base? How is ISIS using our biometrics? How did Biden’s move aid China, Russia, Syria, and other countries? Click the link to hear Lt. Colonel Rudolph Atallah, USAF (Ret.), give a shocking update on what actually happened in Afghanistan and why it matters for our future.

Air Date: 05/18/2022

Guest: Rudy Atallah

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. We are taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective.

I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders, and Tim Burton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. We’re thankful for you joining us. Be sure and visit our website as well that’s wallbuilderslive.com. Wallbuilderslive.com, that’s where you can get a list of all the stations across the country where you can find the program. 

And it’s also where you can get the archives. That means you can jump in there and listen to programs from last week, week before, I mean, go back as far as you like. And there’s a lot of Good News Fridays, Foundations of Freedom Thursday, where we answer your questions and a lot of great interviews as well, all of that available at wallbuilderslive.com.

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That’s the more pastures we can train, legislators we can train, young people we can train, every contribution you make is an investment in freedom and it pays off in future generations. So thank you for going to wallbuilderslive.com today and coming alongside us with that contribution. We sure appreciate it.

Alright, David and Tim, little later in the program, Rudy Atallah back with us talking about some of the things happening in the Middle East and of course, even this question of what in the world happened to all those billions of dollars of equipment that the Biden administration left behind in Afghanistan in that complete debacle last summer? 

DOD Reports

Finally, some actual reporting that has been made public, meaning like reports from the DoD, not reporting like a journalist, but reports listing some of that equipment, what was destroyed, not destroyed. And what we don’t know is where it all ends up and who ends up with it.

But David and Tim, you guys were very intimately involved in rescuing a lot of folks and getting a lot of these operations with Rudy done last summer; still doing that all around the world and other areas as well. But it’d be good to have Rudy on just kind of catch up. It’s been a while since we had him.

Tim:

Yeah, and we’re to your point, one of the things that was so interesting with this debacle of the pull out in Afghanistan, several obvious flaws in the way this was carried out. And we have so many listeners and friends and supporters that are in the military, active duty, or they’re veterans, not to discount all those normal, patriotic Americans, people that love their country that look to recognize this was a disaster–

But especially for the military guys, for so many of us that have friends and family in the military, people that have gone and fought and served to help bring some stability to the Middle East and do things to help Bagram become this airfield over in Afghanistan and so much blood, sweat, tears, and even the loss of life along the way where for many people, friends and family loved ones, were lost in the midst of this to then see the Biden administration just throw it away.

And one of the things, reports that were coming out that you alluded to at the beginning with some of the things that were left behind as far as some of the weapons of war, some of the military’s own supplies that were left behind. And the government said no, no, it’s good, we destroyed everything before we left. And then there was estimates of between $30-$50 million worth of things that were left behind. 

And then some people said that maybe it was even more than $50 million. But nobody really knew for sure how much stuff had been left behind. And some of this notion of what was left behind, people said, hey, it’s okay, it all got destroyed, you know, nothing that the enemy can use.

How Many Americans Were Left?

And then just in the coming weeks, you saw some of these really bad players and some of these terrorist organizations showing up and doing videos and posting videos of what they had just captured from the American airfield and these air strips and they were wearing these night vision goggles and they were sporting these different, what we would know as an AR-15, the M-4, the M 16, whatever they might be, they’re using these different weapons, machine guns, etc, and they’re posting pictures with them identifying what they’ve just captured. And it became very apparent that there was a lot more to the story than what the government was revealing.

Even we know, with the government saying that everybody who wanted to get out got out and then well, maybe there’s a few people left behind. Okay, well, there’s like 100 Americans left behind. Okay, maybe there’s 1,000 Americans left behind. And we had friends who were on the ground over there that were identifying, that was probably closer to 10,000 Americans that they were able to identify and they didn’t know how many more there might be they have not yet identified at that point. So, an absolute disaster on lots and lots of levels.

But dad, one of the guys that I’m going to say we, but really you had phone calls on almost a daily basis with, was working on the ground and we get to talk to in a moment was Rudy Atallah and he had a very different perspective because of the intimate way he was involved in trying to help rescue Americans and rescue some of our allies after Joe Biden pulled the military out and really kind of cut the string on the kite and just let it go.

David:

And Rudy has great background experience. He was one of the top intelligence officers back for Secretary Defense Gates and Rumsfeld with Trump, etc. So he’s been involved a long time, military intelligence, military leadership, 21 years in the Air Force, really good guy. But even back, Tim, as you talking about some of the changes, one of the ones that really struck me is completely insane in the way this went down was okay, we’re trying to fighting in the Middle East, got it; 20 years there, got it, a lot of loss of life, got it. Let’s just completely abandon everything that we’ve done for 20 years, don’t got that.

The Need for a Base

And so if you go back and look historically, you know, we had a very unpopular war in Korea, and we left there, but we did leave bases behind and it’s cost stability over there. And you know, we didn’t want World War II, and we wanted out of it, and we wanted our guys home, but we did leave some bases in Germany. And it’s brought a lot of stability to Europe. And you know, we didn’t want our guys staying in Japan after the things there. But we left bases there and it’s been stable.

Tim:

And I think dad, to your point the notion of we want to bring our troops home, if you’re looking at the troops that were left on the ground, they were not a fighting aggressive force that were on the ground, they were a unit that was there offering assistance to the actual forces on the ground, which was the local, which was the Afghan military, which, of course, when the US pulled out, the Afghan military did not have the intelligence, the personnel, the equipment to continue bringing stability to the region. But we did not have a current fighting force on the ground there.

So even this idea of we need to bring our troops home, look, I absolutely am supportive of we don’t need the American soldiers fighting other people’s wars…

David:

Yeah, we’re not the world’s policemen, for sure.

Tim:

Absolutely not. However, what we fundamentally recognized is that if you don’t have to build in this region, it makes the world a dangerous place. But by default, it actually endangers more Americans. And Americans that are in Europe and in places around the world, it’s more dangerous, it’s a greater threat to them. It’s easier for us to have a base there and even recognizing that Russia or China could be major problems in the future. Well, it’s really nice having an airfield that then Russia and China are within striking distance to some degree from that airfield.

The Impact of Biden’s Decision

When you remove that airfield, well, now if we have to conduct an operation, where are you taking off from? Where are you going to house the US military to conduct this operation? There’s a lot more to the story than just what the media or what the Department of Defense portrayed.

David:

Yeah, the military actually told the Biden administration if you leave 2,500 soldiers behind at Bagram, we can maintain complete stability in Afghanistan, we can keep all the gains we’ve made, we won’t lose it. 2,500 soldiers and that’s one of the smaller units that we would have anywhere at any occupation base. 

But if we are the 900 pound gorilla, we don’t have to go hit everybody, we just stand back in the corner. Nobody wants to do anything when the 900 pound gorilla is standing there. And that’s all we had to do is leave it.

And since we’ve left Afghanistan, Afghanistan is now the number one nation in the world for persecution of Christians and religious minorities, all because we left that, no telling how many tens of thousands of lives because we wouldn’t leave a small unit there just to maintain stability. This is insane. 

And so when Rudy talks about what he now knows about what was left behind, it’s going to be just as insane as that other decision. But it’s important for us to know and this does have an impact, Tim, as you said on the future. I mean, this will have an impact on future. But it’s good to know and get the update on what’s actually happening in Afghanistan.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks, Rudy Atallah when we return. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

SUMMER INSTITUTE

Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton, I am interrupting the normal broadcast to bring you something pretty special. This summer, we are doing a special program for college aged students 18-25 year olds. And it’s something that is becoming more and more special based on where the climate is.

In the middle of a crazy culture, in the middle of a nation going in crazy directions and right now we’re seeing in academia where even Christian universities are promoting critical race theory, teaching the 1619 project, we want to do something to help equip young people the next generation, to know the truth, the truth of the Word of God, the truth of America, the truth of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the free market, we want to get into a lot of this. 

And this is something that if you are an 18-25 year old, or if you are a parent or grandparent, if you have an 18 or 25 year old, if you’re in church, you know 18-25 year olds, this program is something that can be life-changing for them, you want them to be a part. Go to wallbuilders.com and look for the summer institute to be part of this program.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Rudy Atallah back with us. Rudy, always good to have you, brother. Thanks for some time today.

Rudy:

Of course, thank you for having me.

All the Equipment

Rick:

Well, hey, man, we talked about this, of course, months ago, but the massive amount of equipment left behind in Afghanistan that now the Taliban has, we talked billions and billions of dollars, in fact, at one point I think I heard tens of billions of dollars. And now the DoD has submitted an actual report to Congress with some of the details. So David and Tim said hey, man, let’s get Rudy on and see what he thinks about what we’re looking at here.

And so appreciate your time to talk about that. What do you think? I mean, these numbers are still huge. I mean, I’m trying to even process on my mind, 40,000 military vehicles. I mean, that’s the apparently 12,000 Humvees. I just would like one, I mean, 40,000, that’s a lot to leave behind.

Rudy:

Yeah. So I think when you put the training and the equipping altogether, we’re looking at north of $80 billion. But when we start looking at the life, I mean, we were in Afghanistan for 20 years, so we supply them with weapons and training and then there were also a lot of things in the pipeline. And when the Biden administration pulled shocks in the last second, it caught everybody by surprise.

The big takeaways from this and most people are not aware, John Kirby, the spokesman for the Pentagon said that on the exit, when we left Afghanistan that DOD demilitarized most of the equipment, so rendered inoperable. But the problem with that is our approach to demilitarizing equipment has always been and especially the way we did it in Afghanistan, very ineffective and incomplete.

So for example, well, let’s start with aircraft, so, in terms of aircraft, the Afghans had 167 aircraft, DoD said it disabled 73 of them and 61 of them were flown by Afghan pilots, they put their families on board, whatnot and crossed over those aircrafts that was Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which means that these aircrafts are still in the region. 

“Destroyed” Equipment?

Now disabling some of these aircraft and some of the armored vehicles like Humvees or MRAPs or those types of things, you can take components out, or you can damage certain parts of the components so they’re inoperable, but it’s still allows for parts to be sold on the black market. Some of the…

Rick:

I was thinking about that, Rudy. I was wondering because we saw a lot of the media played the videos over and over again, and those guys just taking the butt of their rifles and busting controls and say a Humvee, busting knobs, busting different parts, and I was thinking yeah, but you’re still leaving behind all the stuff that’s not busted, right. And that’s still a lot of value. I mean, it’s a bad situation anyway you look at it. But the way they did it, it just seems like such a waste.

Rudy:

Yeah, absolutely. Normally, when you get rid of equipment, I mean, you blow it up. But the Pentagon said, and John Kirby also said they didn’t want to blow up any of the equipment and waited to the last second in case they needed it and also they didn’t want to destroy places like Kabul International Airport, whatnot, in case US troops had to return.

So essentially, what they’re saying, the bottom line really is we left some equipment out there. Yeah, we rendered it this functional. However, this stuff can still be sold in parts or kind of you get the parts that you need and put it back on the market. Some of the heavy equipment has made its way to Iran. There are lots of reports out there on that.

The smaller equipment that was not rendered inoperable, we had like over 42,000 pieces of night vision goggles, surveillance, biometrics, GPS type stuff, all that was still operable and all that is just expanded the black market. We left a ton of [inaudible 14:17] different types of machine guns, assault weapons, millions of rounds of ammo, all that is part of the Afghan black market. The thing is, when you have radical groups like the Taliban or ISIS Corizon, who by the way, is a terrorist group that thinks that the Taliban are not radical enough. So that tells you where their mindset is and these guys are into killing.

The Black Market

So what they start monetizing on the black market, a lot of that stuff, it gives them the finances for them to expand their terror capabilities. And what that’s done is the black market in the Afghan region has now expanded, we’ve bolstered it by leaving all this equipment behind. Some of the equipment, including NATO–

By the way, some of the equipment has made its way into places like Kashmir where three terrorist groups are starting to use some of the ammo there. For example, armor-piercing rounds from NATO armor-piercing rounds were allegedly used in Kashmir. So some of the American armor-piercing rounds and other stuff equipment is now making its way regionally and eventually it will get to Syria.

Right now, for example, weapons, and nobody’s reported on this yet, but eventually we’ll start seeing it. As things continue to deteriorate in Ukraine with the Russians, Russians are pulling forces out of Syria and then ISIS still has a very strong presence in Syria and so does al Qaeda, eventually, weapons will come that way. Also, Iran will use some of those weapons and then infiltrate into through Iran back into Iraq and Syria, and try to take those areas that are left behind by the Russians, which puts more pressure on Israel.

So essentially, this whole system of leaving equipment behind and the way we exited Afghanistan has literally created a region that’s just rife with all kinds of problems and future issues that are going to come back and haunt us down the road.

Rick:

You know, in fact, I remember talking with you months ago about not only the loss of life, the damage, the cost, the things that this pull out the way we did it in the immediate, but the long term ramifications. And here you’re talking steps down the road of just a financial boost to the Taliban and to terrorism and to a lot of these groups, I just can’t think of how we could have done it any worse than we did. What about the Bagram base itself? I mean, I’ve heard that valued at like a billion dollars. Is that accurate? And what types of buildings and things like that did we hand over to them with that?

Rudy:

Oh, yeah, we left everything intact. In fact, the Chinese were making their way in. And China, they’re capitalizing on Bagram Airbase and all the air bases that we left behind, beautiful tarmacs, nice hangers everything. China’s after Afghanistan’s precious earth metals and whatnot. When you’re competing in the EV market for electric vehicles, you’re looking always for those metals that you can use to control the market. And Afghanistan supposedly has over a trillion dollars worth of precious rare metals in the ground there.

So China’s taking advantage of Bagram Air Base and all these beautiful airfields that we’ve left behind intact and basically, it’s turnkey: they just show up and everything’s available for them. So, that’s the downside. The other downside on a smaller scale is when we leave a lot of biometrics behind and all this advanced stuff that we can use to essentially identify people with or whatnot, the Taliban and some of these terrorist groups are going to use them, essentially, to start identifying people and tracking people, use them to hunt down people. So we’ve bolstered their capabilities to the next level…

Rick:

Yeah, it is. It’s awful. Before I let you go, kind of now downstream from that, how does all of that affect what you guys were able to do? I know, there’s a lot of things you can’t tell us about. But in terms of your rescue missions and just operation in the region, how has it impacted those things?

Rescuing the Innocent

Rudy:

So we’re still bringing people out. We pulled out over 9,500 people out of Afghanistan during the Gulf states and we’re moving them to final destination countries. Plus, we helped our friends, other groups pull another 3,000 people, so totaled 12,000. We’re still very operational in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq. We’re still doing tons of rescues out of Syria. Unfortunately, again, some of the radical groups are starting to get stronger and stronger.

The Biden administration is returned to the JCPOA deal with Iran is causing other issues also now with the Shia radical groups and we’re seeing that expand inside Syria. So it’s making our rescue operations more challenging. But we’re still doing a lot of work. We are somewhat involved in Ukraine as well, helping as many people get out as possible. 

And then also we opened up operations in Nigeria where we are rescuing kidnapped children who are used for sex slavery, organ harvesting or ritual killings to include also pregnant women who are pushed into the so called baby factories and after being raped, forced to have children so they can use the infants as commodities on the black market to sell them. So, we’re pretty much in different areas and we’re just focused on helping as many people as we can.

Rick:

Yeah, man, you guys do incredible work in the worst of circumstances. And even when you have a debacle like this from a country that’s supposed to be a force for good and usually is a force for good, that’s been our history, in this situation, we made it far more difficult for you guys in ministry to be a force for good. So I just thank you for counting and even joy with these trials and still working through them and still saving lives and doing such incredible work. 

And our listeners, I know, appreciate you so much and appreciate even the ability to hear from you and find out about these things. So appreciate you, Rudy, God bless you, man, keep up the great work.

Rudy:

God bless you too. Thank you for everything. Thank you.

Rick:

That was Rudy Atallah, folks. We’re back now with David and Tim Barton. And guys, you can kind of tell that even Rudy’s a little frustrated with the lack of American leadership in the last 13 months and just the difference in what he’s been dealing with on the ground behind the scenes prior to that when you had good American leadership on these kinds of things versus what we’re facing right now.

David:

Well, when you’re finding this American equipment we left behind showing up not only in Iran, but in Kashmir and in Syria and Russians getting part of it, and now you find that our great airbase in Bagram the Chinese have that airbase, really, the Chinese have one of the best airfields in that entire regions, the Chinese now have, so we’ve given them a foothold that they didn’t have in that part of the country. 

And that came from Thank you, America. And then you give a night vision goggles away to all these guys. So that’s going to show up in every terrorist group across that region. This is not good in any way. And I don’t know what the math was. You have 167 aircraft, you destroy 73 of them and somehow you say we’ve destroyed the aircraft. There’s a whole lot that you didn’t account for.

Tim:

And also, I’ve just continued to be confused. How is it more financially beneficial to destroy those aircraft than to fly them to one of our NATO allies, to fly them to another country that could utilize them? Obviously, I mean, right now what we’re seeing with Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine really could have appreciated those things that we allegedly “destroyed”. 

There’s a lot of decisions that were made that made no sense on any level whatsoever, unless the idea was to demoralize America, was to diminish America’s strength and ability, was to strengthen our enemies. Really, it makes no sense unless the idea was, how can we remove America from a stage of power and prominence, from security, everything that the Biden administration did is exactly what you would not want to do if you’d want America to remain free and strong.

David:

You know, and the other thing that Rudy mentioned was the biometrics, they now have our biometrics. We knew that before we left Afghanistan because as the embassy was closing down, we said, because we’ve had years of stability there. And so we said, because it’s stable, everybody can register now. 

Biometrics

And we have religious toleration in Afghanistan, Americans are here, so you can now put down, whether you’re a Christian or whether you’re a Muslim, or whatever you are, Yazidi, you can put that down; and with your eyes scans, we know whether you were an American ally soldier and fought for us or whether you’re a native that’s lived here or whether you’re an immigrant from some of the native… We turn that over to those terrorist groups.

And before we were totally out of Afghanistan, when we were still doing rescues, we knew the Taliban had taken those eye scan machines and we’re going door to door to see which of these guys had been helped the Americans which were allies and they were hanging them on the spot. That were using biometrics to identify individuals, whether it was Christians or whether it was anybody else that they didn’t like. And that’s the kind of stuff we did to actually help over there do the wrong thing.

So it’s got to turn around. It’s got to come back. As Rudy said, we’re still very involved in Afghanistan, a lot going there, a lot going to Ukraine, a lot going on in Nigeria. So the Nazarene Fund is still very actively involved. And if people want to give to that and help, you can go to wallbuilders.com and go to the donate section, and they’re under the Middle East, the funds are coming there. 

This is what goes downrange to help shut down those organ harvesting farms that Rudy talked about in Nigeria, to help with relief efforts in Ukraine and elsewhere. So that’s a good place to give to be able to help and make sure that things do well on the humanitarian side in these areas

Rick:

Alright, folks, we’re out of time for today. Thank you for joining us here on Wallbuilders Live. Again, the website wallbuilderslive.com, I encourage you to visit that today. And also want to reiterate as we talked about yesterday on the program. We’ve got some great summer programs available for you. Check out the Summer Institute that’s going to happen at American Journey Institute twice this summer. 

So you got two chances at this one, towards the end of June and towards the end of July, all of that information at wallbuilders.com. Great opportunity for 18-25 year olds, highly recommended. It’s going to be a phenomenal week. And I just really encourage you to check that out.

The Afghanistan Debacle, A Shocking Update – With Rudy Atallah

And then also check out the patriotacademy.com website for the leadership congresses that are taking place all across the country and state capitol. So this will happen in Arizona, in Idaho, Colorado, Florida, Delaware, great opportunity for young people, 16-25, to really see what it’s like inside a constitutional republic. How does a legislature work? 

And they don’t have to be interested in going into politics. If they want to be a good citizen, if they want to be a leader, just the leadership skills alone, during these programs are absolutely phenomenal. It’s a great time. They’ll meet a lot of great folks from across the country that’ll really be a great iron sharpening iron opportunity as well. Patriotacademy.com for more information on that.

And as we’re closing out, just want to offer an opportunity for some scholarships to those regional academies. A $100 scholarship for WallBuilders Live listeners, if you’re one of the first 10 to email Abigail@patriotacademy.com, Abigail@patriotacademy.com, get your application in, it’s 16-25 year olds and a $100 scholarship to the first 10 that do that, give you a chance to go to Colorado or for any of them, Arizona, Idaho, Florida, or Delaware. 

It doesn’t apply to the national Patriot Academy because that one’s already full for this year. But you can go to one of the regionals. Check that out today at patriotacademy.com Thanks so much for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.