23 August 2017
English Arabic

U.S. failed to keep proper track of more than $1 billion in weapons and equipment in Iraq

Saturday, 27 May 2017 10:57
American forces instruct Iraqi soldiers on how to properly use an M2 machine gun during training at Besmaya Range Complex in 2015. (Cpl. Nelson Rodriguez/U.S. Army) American forces instruct Iraqi soldiers on how to properly use an M2 machine gun during training at Besmaya Range Complex in 2015. (Cpl. Nelson Rodriguez/U.S. Army)

IRBIL, Iraq — The U.S. Army failed to properly keep tracks of hundreds of humvees, tens of thousands of rifles and other pieces of military equipment that were sent to Iraq, according to a government audit from 2016 that was obtained by Amnesty International and released Wednesday.

The price of the equipment — meant to equip the Iraqi army, Shiite militias and the Kurdish peshmerga — totaled more than $1 billion.

“This audit provides a worrying insight into the U.S. Army’s flawed — and potentially dangerous — system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region,” Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights researcher, said in an emailed statement.

The audit found that improper record-keeping, including duplicated spreadsheets, handwritten receipts and a lack of a central database to track the transfers, contributed to the report’s findings. Additionally, the audit claimed that under the Iraqi Train and Equip Fund, once the equipment was transferred to the government of Iraq, the Pentagon no longer had to monitor the material as it was no longer U.S. government property.

While likely not an issue for things such as uniform items and body armor, the lack of any post-transfer accountability on U.S. arms and munitions raises the chances for illicit diversion from the intended supply chain. Currently, the Middle East is awash in U.S. weapons and equipment, and with President Trump’s decision to equip Kurdish forces in Syria with more weapons, it is unclear whether the United States has learned from any of its past mistakes in the region.

“The need for post-delivery checks is vital,” Wilcken said. “Any fragilities along the transfer chain greatly increase the risks of weapons going astray in a region where armed groups have wrought havoc and caused immense human suffering.”

Source: Washington Post

EIFA WARNS ABOUT GROWING PRESENCE OF SEC...

EIFA - Press releaseThere are alarming and escalating reports about the presence...

Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri

Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi ...

-European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)- Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri, know...

Iraq: We must stop meddling by Iran and its criminal militias

Iraq: We must stop meddling by Iran and ...

Brussels, European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) press release - The continui...