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The Taliban love Toyota… but why?

todayAugust 17, 2021 8

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This week we’ve been besieged by news images of men jam-packed into truck beds holding military assault weapons. Their manufacturer of choice is Toyota.

Militias have long used Toyota pickup trucks as a vehicle of war, especially in the Middle East. The trucks are lightweight, agile, fuel-efficient, and well suited to the local terrain. In 2013 Kyle Mizokami noted:

“You can buy 266 of them for the cost of just one tank. Plus, it’s more dependable than a tank—and easier to maintain.” 

Toyotas are not only a war vehicle in Afghanistan. Somali warlords use them in Somalia. Humanitarian aid officials have even purchased the vehicles from terrorists to ensure that aid reached its destination.  

Credit: Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons