US Army lost track of $1 billion worth of arms & equipment in Iraq, Kuwait


The Office of Inspector General for the Pentagon’s findings from September 2016 was made public Wednesday as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from human rights group Amnesty International.


Over $1 billion worth of arms and military equipment designated under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF) and meant to assist the Iraqi government in combatting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), was not accounted for, the DOD audit found.

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The Army’s 1st Theater Sustainment Command “did not have effective controls to maintain complete visibility and accountability of ITEF equipment in Kuwait and Iraq prior to transfer to the Government of Iraq,” the audit said.

“This audit provides a worrying insight into the US 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 the announcement on the group’s website.

“It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.”

The ITEF began as a $1.6 billion program, but last year, Congress appropriated $715 million more to it.

The transfers included, according to Amnesty, “tens of thousands of assault rifles worth $28 million, hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles” to the Iraqi Army, including the predominantly Shi’a Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

While the Pentagon promises to do better, that means little to Amnesty, which noted that the same sentiments were expressed to Congress in 2007 when similar concerns arose.

“After all this time and all these warnings, the same problems keep re-occurring. This should be an urgent wake-up call for the US, and all countries supplying arms to Iraq, to urgently shore up checks and controls. Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy; it is just reckless,” Amnesty’s Wilcken said.

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  1. Same as the arms lost in Jordan and arms lost in Yemen and the list goes on. The US Army is protecting the behind in case the arms get captured with ISIS detainees and dead in Syria. Another day at the Pentagon and the American citizen forks the money for it.

  2. Over the years I have known friends in all service branches. Here is the mentality they described in the military: A Sergeant likely somewhere in Europe, orders two or more low level members in uniform to follow him. They arrive in a remote area with a railroad spur. The Sergeant gets out of his vehicle and says to them as he points with his hand and finger at a rail freight car or cars in the distance: “Get rid of it! I don’t want to know what happened to it.” The Sergeant then drives off alone. They knew by a wink of the eye he did not mean the rail cars themselves, but what was inside those cars.
    The privates walk over to take a look at the booty. It could be anything from dead bodies to unspent ammo to any type of hazardous waste, from chemical to nuclear, electronic, or even brand new weapons or you name it. If it has value they find a buyer; otherwise it ends up at the bottom of the nearest body of water. If there is no water they set it on fire or blow it up. If it won’t burn or is impossible to move, it is left to rot and rust away and decay. Their mission is completed. They return to base. This is the Army way.

  3. More of the same. The arms were sold on the private market. This has been happening since, well forever. Just add it to the missing $6 trillion. We the people don’t mind. WTF! Wake up citizens. We are being corrupt politicians, generals, and E4 enlisted men. Start the investigation by examinig the end user certificates. Might as well look for the pallets of cash too being flown daily out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mexico, Columbia, Panama etc. Everyone involved should be polygraphed. But that would be too simple. What fools we are. For every misplaced dollar the deficit should be reduced. The budget would be zero. As it is we continue paying interest on disappeared money. What fools we are. Truly we deserve what we get. A rope to hang ourself rather than the perps.

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