Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by diplomat, Oct 30, 2006.

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  1. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    This is unbelievable !!! (The article below is edited only to show weapons issues)

    Full SIDIR Report at

    U.S. Is Said to Fail in Tracking Arms for Iraqis

    By JAMES GLANZ, New York Times
    Published: October 30, 2006

    The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces and has failed to provide spare parts, maintenance personnel or even repair manuals for most of the weapons given to the Iraqis, a federal report released Sunday has concluded.

    The report was undertaken at the request of Senator John W. Warner, the Virginia Republican who is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and who recently expressed an assessment far darker than the Bush administration’s on the situation in Iraq.

    Mr. Warner sent his request in May to a federal oversight agency, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. He also asked the inspector general to examine whether Iraqi security forces were developing a logistics operation capable of sustaining the hundreds of thousands of troops and police officers the American military says it has trained.

    The answers came Sunday from the inspector general’s office, which found major discrepancies in American military records on where thousands of 9-millimeter pistols and hundreds of assault rifles and other weapons have ended up. The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands.

    Exactly where untracked weapons could end up — and whether some have been used against American soldiers — were not examined in the report, although black-market arms dealers thrive on the streets of Baghdad, and official Iraq Army and police uniforms can easily be purchased as well, presumably because government shipments are intercepted or otherwise corrupted.

    In a written response to the inspector general’s findings, the American military largely conceded the shortcomings. The military said it would assist the Iraqis in determining the spare parts and maintenance requirements for the weapons. The military also said it has now instituted a “process to accurately issue weapons by quantity and serial number listing.”

    Because the inspector general is charged only with looking at weaponry financed directly by the American taxpayer, the total of lost weapons could end up being higher. The Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon inspector general are expected to look at weapons financed by all sources, including the Iraqi government.


    Mr. Bowen found that the American military was not able to say how many Iraqi logistics personnel it had trained — in this case because, the military told the inspector general, a computer network crash erased records. Those problems have occurred even though the United States has spent $133 million on the weapons program and $666 million on Iraqi logistics capabilities.


    In its assessment of Iraqi weaponry, the inspector general concluded that of the 505,093 weapons that have been given to the Ministries of Interior and Defense over the last several years, serial numbers for only 12,128 were properly recorded. The weapons include rocket-propelled grenade launchers, assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, semiautomatic pistols and sniper rifles.

    Of those weapons, 370,000 were purchased with American taxpayer money under what is called the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, or I.R.R.F., and therefore fell within the inspector general’s mandate.

    Despite the potential risks from losing track of those weapons — involving 19 different contracts and 142 delivery orders — the United States recorded serial numbers for no more than a few thousand, the inspector general said.

    There are standard regulations for registering military weaponry in that way, governed by the Department of Defense small-arms serialization program. The inspector general’s report said that when asked why so many weapons went to Iraq with no record of serial numbers, American military officials in Baghdad replied that they did not believe the regulations applied to them.

    Still, in their response to the report, military officials said they would keep track of serial numbers for weapons shipped or issued in the future, but in a database outside the small-arms serialization program. They did not present a plan for identifying or monitoring weapons that had already been issued.

    There were also significant discrepancies in the numbers of weapons purchased and those in Iraqi warehouses. While 176,866 semiautomatic pistols were purchased with American money, just 163,386 showed up in warehouses — meaning that more than 13,000 were unaccounted for. All 751 of the M1-F assault rifles sent to Iraq were missing, and nearly 100 MP-5 machine guns.
  2. On the contrary, completely believable.... :twisted:
  3. This is akin to the British Military giving the Basra police force body armour which then found it's way into the hands of the Jaish Al Mehdi, who then wore it when attacking british troops.

    Somebody needs to get a slapping for this one.

    We needn't worry about the Iranians funding and supplying the insurgency, the Yanks are doing it themselves.
  4. Are we surprised look how much of our issue kit turns up on ebay
    Should try a search or two there and see what comes up
    MP5 one previous owner formerly owned by the QS Dept of Defence!


    P.S I wonder how many shots fired at the US forces will be ballistically tested and be found to be from their own weapons - that would be funny - NOT!
  5. This is disturbing.

    What does it say about the US military when
    - it cannot account for much of the waeaponry it is supposed to have handed over to the Iraqis
    - It cannot define the amount of weapons spares it has made available
    - It cannot properly define the amount of training it has given in weapon repairs

    But what is worse, it would have the Special Inspector, and through him the legislative body, believe that its computer system caused selective loss of data AND THAT THE DoD HAD EITHER LOST OR HADN'T CREATED BACKUPS OF THAT DATA. This should not just be looked on as incompetent, it really should be examined for deceitfulness!

    Ishinryu, when You sayt that "British Military giving the Basra police force body armour which then found it's way into the hands of the Jaish Al Mehdi, who then wore it when attacking british troops." are You putting forward an way of explaining the actions of the DoD by hypothosising the Basra scenario, or are You suggesting that it actually happened??

    If the latter, was it because the body armour had disappeared from stores or that the Iraqi police had signed for the kit and then handed it over to their insurgent mates?
  6. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    Plus these are only the weapons they admit to PURCHASING. There have been a lot more 'gifted' by the Bosnians (200,000+)!

    See Amnesty International report for details.
  7. I must admit I only speed read Amnesty report. Did they give a source for their information or is the information anacdotal?
  8. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    They have all the evidence - EUROCONTROL air traffic reports, SFOR and EU Form 5s, Shipping Notes and copies ofthe original BiH weapon accounts. What they printed is still the tip of the iceberg! More instalments due in a month or two - allegedly!
  9. I'm quite prepared to believe that many of these weapons have gone missing, but it strikes me as rather unlikely that they have no record of the weapons serial numbers. Have you ever been to any armoury where they didn't have a record of the serial numbers?

    Also, why in Hell do the Iraqis need more weapons? They've already got far more than they need.
  10. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    Their own report for the US Senate Armed Services Committee admits they don't have the serial numbers!!! The thing that worries people is that they didn't even get near an armoury in Iraq!
  11. CNN this a.m. in the USA:

    The unaccountable weapons represent only a modest percentage of weapons purchased by US taxpayers for the Iraqi armed forces and police.

    Henceforward, they will be keeping track of the weapons' individual serial numbers. That way, it will be possible to determine whether any particular weapon has been warehoused or issued.
  12. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    Bit too late now I would sugest!
  13. Perhaps it's an attempt to reduce the average round fired in the world from 7.62 (the good old, trusted AK-47) to 5.56mm. Make the world a safer place?
  14. I wonder if those weapons were ever even in American hands. Could be that the Glocks were bought from Austria and shipped directly to the Iraqis from the factory, paid for with American funds. Ditto the various new AKs that they've been provided with.

  15. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    They were air delivered into baghdad airport when it was under the control of the RAMCC !! Of course they were in US hands - but not for long obviously.