AVA- A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released on Thursday indicates that the Department of Defense (DOD) of the United States funded more than $76 billion USD of weapons, communication devices, and other security equipment to the Afghan security forces since 2002.
The report shows that since 2001, the U.S. has allocated funding for at least 600,000 weapons for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).
Nearly 81 percent of these weapons were rifles and pistols, according to the Defense Department data. The firepower funding also included more than 25,000 grenade launchers and almost 10,000 rocket-propelled weapons used by the Afghan Border Police.
Additional items given to the ANDSF included 162,643 pieces of communications equipment and nearly 76,000 vehicles. These vehicles were primarily light tactical vehicles like Ford Ranger pickups and cargo trucks, but also included more than 22,000 Humvees, according to the DOD data.
When the equipment reached Afghanistan, it was divided between the two main security forces: The Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.
The Pentagon has shipped 110 helicopters and 98 planes since 2007, when the Pentagon authorized sending aircraft. These aircraft could have carried the 314,000 unguided rockets, 8,700 "general-purpose bombs" and 1,815,000 helicopter rounds, which were also funded by the Pentagon, the Defense Department data shows.
Even with all of this equipment, Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told Congress in February he needs "few thousand" more troops to properly train and advise the Afghan military so they can eventually operate independently.
This comes after the U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was "very close" to deciding whether he will approve a plan to deploy more troops in Afghanistan.
There are about 8,400 US troops and another 5,000 forces of NATO on the ground in Afghanistan to train and assist local forces against extremists, and conduct counter-terrorism missions.