Given that the federal government is unable totrack the spending of $88 billion in Katrina funds I’m not surprised that a new federal report found, according to the NYT, that “the American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces.”
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 thatthey did not believe the regulations applied to them.
Oh my the rules don’t apply. Another report on the logistic capability of the Iraqi Army, released at the same time, is perhaps more troubling for our “standing down” though no surprise…
…concluding that Iraqi security forces still depended heavily on the Americans for the operations that sustain a modern army: deliveries of fuel and ammunition, troop transport, health care and maintenance.
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. (all emphasis mine)