190,000 US guns given to Iraqis remain unaccounted for
A new GAO report shows that about 190,000 guns, given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005 during training, have gone missing, the Washington Post reports.
The forces were being trained by present-day commander Gen. David H. Petraeus when the weapons were distributed; according to the GAO, proper procedure was not followed, and the weapons have not been properly tracked. The Pentagon isn't disputing the report.
Officials concede that it is likely that these weapons, bought with American taxpayer money, are being used against US forces.
Stohl said that insurgents frequently use small-arms fire to force military convoys to move in a particular direction -- often toward roadside bombs that target troops and vehicles. She noted that the Bush administration frequently complains that Iran and Syria are supplying insurgents but has paid little attention to whether U.S. military errors inadvertently play a role. "We know there is seepage and very little is being done to address the problem," she said.
[Center for Defense Information analyst Rachel] Stohl noted that U.S. forces, focused on a fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction after Baghdad fell, failed to secure massive weapons caches. The failure to track small arms given to Iraqi forces repeats that pattern of neglect, she added.
A military commander involved in the program at the time, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the report, acknowledged in an e-mail, "We did issue some items, including weapons, body armor, etc. to new Iraqi units that were literally going into battle."
The entire article can be read HERE.