Are Afghan Taliban’s Arms Coming From US?

Arms, Ammo Sent to Afghan Forces Appear to Be Falling Into Taliban Hands

Over seven years after the US invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban insurgency that was the former government remains well armed, and fighting fiercely across the nation. The New York Times is tonight reporting on one possible source for the endless supply of arms.

According to officials, much of the ammunition taken off of the corpses of slain insurgents was “identical” to ammunition which the United States government has been providing to the Afghan government forces to use against the Taliban. Exactly how the Taliban came by such weaponry was unclear, but it is speculated that corrupt Afghan forces may be funneling the weapons to the insurgency.

This seemed to confirm an audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) earlier this year, which warned that there were no reliable records to account for hundreds of thousands of weapons the US has provided, from AK-47 assault rifles to mortars and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

The report chastised the US for its irresponsible record keeping. The vast number of unaccounted-for weapons has even led one former diplomat to speculate that the US must have been doing so deliberately, so as to have an excuse to stay in the nation. While that seems unlikely, it does point to how widespread the problem is.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.