Monday, August 06, 2007

Lost: 190,000 Weapons

If there's one thing that the Army knows how to do really well it's keeping track of its various weapons. When I was in the Army and we did any kind of training I had to go the "Arms Room" (a huge, vault-like room with racks of weapons right out of the Matrix) and sign out a weapon that had been assigned to me upon arrival in the unit. Every time I signed it out or in the Arms Clerk matched the serial number of the weapon to his master list. When we had weapons out on training the First Sergeant did a physical inventory of every weapon every day. Sometimes twice a day. This was even true of larger weapons like the 20mm cannon mounted to the front end of the Cobra attack helicopters I "owned."

So it's not like the Army usually has a hard time keeping track of weapons. And it's not like they needed to learn anything new in Iraq.

That's why this can only be the result of intentional malfeasance:

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.
So other than the cost of these weapons which appear to be mostly M-16s and SAWs (Squad Automatic Weapons - a light machine-gun) AK-47s and AKMs,what's the big deal? How about this:

Officials concede that it is likely that these weapons, bought with American taxpayer money, are being used against US forces.
Great way to support the troops, no?

Edited. Changed weapon types based on updated information.

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