US Unable to Account for $626 Million Worth of Weapons in Afghanistan

Image Credit: Flickr/ NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

The U.S. Department of Defense cannot account for 747,000 weapons and auxiliary military equipment in Afghanistan.

Ankit Panda
The Diplomat
July 30, 2104

The United States’ Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), in a new report, notes that “747,000 weapons  and auxiliary equipment” given to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) are unaccounted for. The United States has been training and supporting the ANSF to foster self-sufficiency in the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. The ANSF will take over Afghanistan’s precarious internal security situation once the United States and NATO withdraw from the country at the end of this year. Weapons supplies from the U.S. to the ANSF are one of the main ways in which the United States supports the development of the ANSF. According to SIGAR, the unaccounted weapons “are valued at approximately $626 million.”

Among the unaccounted for arms are rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, and shotguns. 465,000 of these small arms are missing according to the SIGAR report. The report additionally finds that the DoD’s ledger systems for recording weapon shipments to Afghanistan have major errors and discrepancies.

The Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) and the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database (OVERLORD), two systems used by the DoD to keep track of weapon shipments to Afghanistan, were found to have major errors and discrepancies. For example, 43 percent of serial numbers in the OVERLORD system had “missing information and/or duplication.”

Other serial numbers were recorded multiple times and some had no shipping or receiving dates attached to them. In 2010, the DoD was required to implement a weapons registration program for all small arms transferred to the ANSF. According to the SIGAR audit, the poor management of serial number data has seriously impaired U.S. efforts to keep track of where these weapons are ending up in Afghanistan.

SIGAR notes that the weapons could eventually find their way, or have already found their way, into the hands of insurgents hostile to the Afghan government, including the Taliban: “Without confidence in the Afghan government’s ability to account for or properly dispose of these weapons, SIGAR is concerned that they could be obtained by insurgents and pose additional risks to Afghan civilians and the ANSF.”

The problem is further compounded by poor record-keeping practices within the ANSF. Received shipments are not accounted for and the ANSF’s inventory remains somewhat ambiguous.

This sort of thing doesn’t just spontaneously happen; half a million weapons don’t sprout legs and walk away. These materials were probably delivered to al Qaeda and other terrorist elements within Syria.
Hey… Afghanistan is being overrun and troops are protecting opium trade, Iraq is nearly lost, Syria is being torn apart… but let’s just worry about getting Chevron and Shell their natural gas deals in Ukraine and the absurd back and forth of the Zionist leadership of Israel and their Muslim counterparts in Hamas.
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  1. adam zarwan · July 30, 2014

    The one redeeming feature of America's imperialism is how stupid and inefficient it is.

  2. Bryan Douebleu · August 13, 2014

    It's easy to dismiss this as being stupid or inefficient… yet I think it's possible these weapons were purposely disappeared.

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