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Afghanistan: Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons, says John Bolton

The Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America's catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, former Trump security advisor John Bolton has warned. 

Bolton said it was possible the nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of the Taliban if the Islamists take control of Pakistan in an interview with WABC 770 on Sunday. 

'The Taliban in control of Afghanistan threatens the possibility of terrorists taking control of Pakistan … that means maybe 150 nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists,' he said.

The US completed a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31, leaving behind military equipment that has already been seized by the Taliban, after the Islamists swept to power in a lightning offensive of the country.

Pakistan has an arsenal of approximately 160 nuclear warheads including 102 land-based missiles and F-16 combat aircrafts with 24 nuclear launchers.

The Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America's catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, former Trump security advisor John Bolton has warned

The US completed a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31 after the Taliban swept to power in a lightning offensive of the country

Former security advisor Bolton warned the Taliban could gain control of Pakistan's 160 nuclear warheads (pictured a Shaheen II) if they overrun the country

How big is Pakistan's nuclear inventory? 

Pakistan first tested a nuclear warhead in 1998, becoming the seventh country in the world to officially do so. 

Its arsenal is seen as a defense against India, which first tested nuclear warheads in 1974.

Number of nuclear warheads: 160 

Air capabilities: F-16 combat aircrafts with 24 nuclear launchers with a range of 1,600 km, Mirage III and V aircraft with 12 launchers with a range of 2,100km, and Ra'ad air-launched missiles with a 350km range

Sea capabilities: Recently tested a Babur 3 from a submerged platform and are working towards firing from a submarine

Land capabilities: 102 land-based missiles, six operational nuclear capable ballistic missiles

Bolton, who served under then President Donald Trump between April 2018 and September 2019, slammed Joe Biden's management of the withdrawal, warning allies are 'wondering if he has a grip on his own administration's foreign policy.' 

Biden and the White House have repeatedly insisted they were blindsided by the swept Taliban takeover because the Afghan security forces gave up so easily. 

It led to scenes of chaos with thousands of Afghans swarming the airport as they desperately tried to flee the country before the Islamists imposed their rule.

Thousands gathered at the perimeter of Kabul airport - some standing in sewage, others attempting to scale the walls and many brandishing travel documents - as US soldiers attempted to control the chaos. 

Early evacuation flights saw hundreds of young men sat on a fin below the US military's plane's turbine as it barreled down the runway, only to then fall hundreds of feet to their deaths.

At least two people fell to their deaths from a C-17 on August 16 and the remains of another were discovered in the wheel well of the jet when it arrived in Qatar. 

Videos captured snapshots of the chaos showed US soldiers being handed babies over barbed wire fences as desperate Afghans gathered at the edge of the airport. 

Meanwhile other footage emerged of women pleading with US troops to let them onto an evacuation flight, telling them 'the Taliban is coming'. 

And days later a suicide explosion claimed by ISIS-K, an Islamic State offshoot based in Afghanistan's Khorasan region, left 170 dead, including 13 US service members.  

Biden later claimed the withdrawal was an 'extraordinary success' and local soldiers for the mess in Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover - a claim the White House has repeated in recent weeks. 

The President also laid the blame for the chaos on his predecessor Donald Trump for striking a peace deal in February 2020 with the Taliban. Trump's peace deal had promised US withdrawal by May if the Taliban did not harbor terrorists or attack US forces or allies. 

Bolton's warning comes after the Taliban seized much of the equipment abandoned by the US during the chaotic end to the 20-year war in Afghanistan.  

Anwari was among young Afghan men were seen clambering onto the USAF jet as it took off from Kabul on Monday. At least three of them died, two teenage brothers by falling from the wheels and Anwari was reportedly found dead in the wheel well 

At least three bodies were seen falling from the USAF jet as it climbed into the air on Monday

Days after the withdrawal ended, the Taliban paraded dozens of US-made armored vehicles and weaponry captured from Afghan forces during the group's takeover. 

One event, in the southern city of Kandahar, even featured a fly-past from a Black Hawk helicopter flying the flag of the Taliban. 

Meanwhile a long line of green Humvees and armored fighting vehicles drove in single file along a highway outside Kandahar - the spiritual birthplace of the militant group. Many of the vehicles had the white and black Taliban flag attached to them.

Footage posted on social media showed a helicopter flying overhead trailing the Taliban's standard behind it as fighters waved from below.  

One event, in the southern city of Kandahar, even featured a fly-past from a Black Hawk helicopter (pictured) flying the flag of the Taliban

The parades of the hardware, captured during the group's takeover of Afghanistan, were held just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden defended his decision to end two decades of American presence in the country

US withdrawal from Afghanistan: 

April 14, 2021 

Biden announces U.S. forces will withdraw unconditionally by Sept. 11, implementing the agreement reached with the Taliban by his predecessor, Trump.

July 2, 2021

U.S. troops abruptly pull out of their main base at Bagram airfield 60 km (40 miles) north of Kabul.

August 15, 2021 

After a stunning week-long advance capturing cities across the country, the Taliban seize Kabul without a fight. President Ashraf Ghani flees the country. The United States and Western allies launch an urgent airlift from Kabul airport to bring out their own citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans who aided them.

August 26, 2021

Islamic State offshoot ISIS-K launches a suicide bomb attack on the crowded gates of Kabul airport, killing scores of civilians and 13 U.S. troops.

In the days that followed, the U.S. conducted drone strikes on ISIS-K assets in Kabul in response. ISIS-K also fired five rockets towards Kabul airport as U.S. and western forces tried to get the last American citizens and Afghan allies to safety. 

August 30, 2021 

U.S. General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, announces completion of the U.S. troop withdrawal. The Taliban celebrated with gunfire in the streets as Western forces finally left after 20 years.

There were still at least 250 American citizens stranded on the ground and thousands of Afghan allies - SIV applicants are those designated as vulnerable - left to face the Taliban. 

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