First, he says, he was ordered to leave behind valuable American military equipment to fall in the hands of the Taliban in the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Now, he says, the government wants him to pay for it.
In a video that went viral on TikTok before it was deleted — but went viral due to the social media account Libs of TikTok picking it up. As of Wednesday morning, it has nearly 7 million views on X.
Despite the account’s usual menagerie of outré leftists going beyond the pale, the soldier in this clip hardly sounds like a lib, although I’ll concede I’ve not seen the man’s voting records.
“I wanna holler, I wanna scream, I wanna yell,” the in-uniform soldier said in the undated video, posted by Libs of TikTok on Monday. “But it won’t do any good.”
The soldier explained that today was “turn-in day,” the day where he gives back all the military equipment “that I’ve collected over the last four years on being active duty with the Army with the 82nd Airborne Division.”
The 82nd Airborne, as you may recall, spent some time two years ago during the evacuation of Afghanistan, which is where our soldier’s dilemma starts.
While the unnamed troop was already “very disappointed with our government” over its handling of the Afghanistan pullout, that had nothing to do with what he experienced on turn-in day.
“[I] go to turn in my gear, they want to charge me $500 to $1,000 for gear I was ordered to leave in Afghanistan two years ago,” the soldier said.
Later in the video, the soldier said the actual number was closer to $4,000, providing a receipt for proof.
This order came “as the last two birds [aircraft] were sitting on the tarmac ready to leave, there wasn’t any room for extra gear, extra weight.
“Therefore, we were told to leave it. Some lower-level dudes including myself were like, ‘No, this stuff is expensive. I’m not leaving this. I’m gonna get charged for this when it’s time to leave.'”
Wow! Soldier leaving the army blasts the Biden admin and the state of the military. Claims he’s being charged close to $4,000 for gear he was INSTRUCTED to leave in Afghanistan during Biden’s disastrous withdrawal. pic.twitter.com/bzfjYd21EN
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) November 20, 2023
It’s little secret that the government left behind a veritable treasure trove of weapons for the Taliban and other terrorist groups and U.S. enemies to wreak havoc with.
“The US gave a total of $18.6 billion of equipment to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) from 2005 to August 2021, according to the report. Of that total, equipment worth $7.12 billion remained in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal was completed on August 30, 2021,” CNN noted.
Some of this stuff has a limited shelf-life, like aircraft that require replacement parts the pariah government doesn’t have access to or the money to pay for. Other items, however, have a longer expiration date on being deadly — and are finding their way into other conflicts.
In the disputed Indian region of Kashmir, NBC News reported in June, anti-Indian, pro-Pakistani militants had received “a regional flood of U.S.-funded weapons that fell into the hands of the Taliban when U.S.-led NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021.”
NBC noted that “[m]ost of the weapons recovered so far, officials say, are from Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), both Pakistan-based militant groups that the U.S. designates as terrorist organizations.
“In a Twitter post last year, for example, police said they had seized an M4 carbine assault rifle after a gunfight that killed two militants from JeM.”
And, as the soldier pointed out, we’re setting ourselves up for more of this in the future.
“Meanwhile, we can continue to give millions of dollars to the Taliban; we can give billions of dollars to Ukraine; we can give billions of dollars to student debt relief; we can give a bunch of stupid stimulus checks, we can cut those to the American people,” the soldier said, adding that “this administration’s last priority is the American people.”
Whether or not the account is true, the basic argument certainly is. We’re willing to waste money on foreign misadventures like our botched pullout in Afghanistan, but have learned nothing from them. We’ll continue to pour billions into Ukraine without significant oversight and expect everything will turn out OK.
And when the check comes due, they’ll pass the bill on to you, the taxpayer, for their mistakes — just like they’re allegedly passing the bill to this soldier.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.