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Monday, August 06, 2007

Should've kept a checklist

This is really quite spectacular: the US government has admitted that it has "lost track of" (i.e. lost) nearly 200,000 guns that it has given to the Iraqi security forces.

Apparently weapons distribution within Iraq had been "haphazard and rushed", but happily, they're now reviewing their weapons distribution process in the country.

That will come, I'm sure, as an enormous relief to the US soldiers currently serving in the war zone, who, the same report also suggests, are enjoying the not-terribly-pleasingly-ironic experience of having Iraqi 'dissidents' take pot-shots at them with their own country's guns.

'The US military cannot account for 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to the Iraqi security forces, an official US report says.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the Pentagon cannot track about 30% of the weapons distributed in Iraq over the past three years.
The Pentagon did not dispute the figures, but said it was reviewing arms deliveries procedures.

About $19.2bn has been spent by the US since 2003 on Iraqi security forces.
GAO, the investigative arm of the US Congress, said at least $2.8bn of this money was used to buy and deliver weapons and other equipment.
Correspondents say it is now feared many of the weapons are being used against US forces on the ground in Iraq.
The GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005.

AK-47 rifles: 110,000
Pistols: 80,000
Body armour pieces: 135,000
Helmets: 115,000

During this period, security training was led by Gen David Petraeus, who now commands all US forces in Iraq.
The GAO reached the estimate - 111,000 missing AK-47s and 80,000 missing pistols - by comparing the property records of the Multi-National Security Transition Command for Iraq against records maintained by Gen Petraeus of the arms and equipment he ordered.'

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