Audit: US Army Lost Track of Over $1 Billion in Arms in Iraq Last Year

Pentagon Lacks Any Post-Transfer Accountability

In the ever-growing number of wars and various interventions the US has gotten itself entangled in since 2001, the Pentagon has had a recurring problem of sending billions of dollars worth of arms, vehicles, and general stuff into warzones and then quickly losing track of it.

That problem is still a very real one, according to a new government audit on the transfers related to the Iraq Train and Equip Fund, which found that improper record-keeping and a total lack of accountability after the gear is dispatched has left over $1 billion in military materiel unaccounted for.

Tens of thousands of assault rifles, hundreds of humvees and a whole slew of other stuff was sent to Iraq with no central database to keep track of it, and the military relying on haphazard, handwritten receipts, leaving open the possibility that much of the equipment just got illegally diverted and no one ever noticed.

That the Middle East is already awash in illicit weapons, and that groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda get by heavily on looted and/or diverted American arms seems like it should’ve been a signal that the Pentagon needs to at least try to keep track of where all these new weapons they keep sending. Instead, the focus seems to be on sending as much equipment to the Middle East as quickly as possible, and then acting surprised when, as it has practically every time in the past, a bunch of it goes missing.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.