US Army Slow to Investigate Losses of Key Encryption Gear in Afghanistan

$420 Million in Gear Unaccounted For

An internal report by the Pentagon’s Inspector General found the US Army “lost” some $420 million worth of equipment in Afghanistan, including weapons, sensitive encryption devices, and even some vehicles.

To make matters worse, the IG found that the Army brigade responsible for managing the gear failed to report the losses in a timely fashion, meaning there were no great efforts to recover it.

Army officials told the IG that they expected the massive amount of gear wasn’t really lost, and would turn up at some point. Years later, the report shows, almost none of it ever did.

Despite losing all this equipment, never finding it, and not properly documenting the loss, the IG audit praised the Army for admitting that “improvements are needed.”

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.