As US Arms Flow Into Syria, Many Doubt Accountability

History of Mismanagement Has Many Wondering Where Arms Will End Up

If you’re an Islamist fighter in Iraq or Syria, chances are you are using US-made equipment the majority of the time. Whether looted from fleeing Iraqi troops, captured at the border, or just plain given to the Islamists by the CIA, America’s history of keeping track of its weaponry isn’t the best.

So amid new reports of US arms shipments to Syrian rebels in the southeast, and to Kurdish forces along the Turkish border, many are looking back at the Pentagon’s history of criminal mismanagement of arms shipments, and wondering where all these new weapons will end up.

After all, it was only a week ago that a government audit was released revealing the Pentagon had just lost track of another $1 billion in arms sent to Iraq, and had made little to no effort to keep records of where the gear ended up once it arrived in the country.

So as the Pentagon vows to ‘carefully monitor” this new round of weapons, the simple fact that the US admits it never intends to try to recover the weapons raises questions about whether they’ll really bother, or if this will be another case of billions of dollars in US arms disappearing, with nothing to show for it but a shoebox full of hand-written receipts.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of