The Pentagon has been unable to locate more than 40 percent of the firearms it has provided to Afghan security forces at a cost of $626 million, according to a report by a government oversight agency made public Monday.
The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) states that the Defense Department’s two information systems that track weapons sent to Afghanistan are full of errors. That has sparked fears that at least some of the weapons may be available on the black market, with militants among the potential purchasers.
According to the report and an article in The Washington Times, the Pentagon has sent 747,000 weapons and auxiliary equipment, mostly small arms, to Afghan forces over the past decade. The paper reported that of the 474,823 serial numbers recorded in the tracking database, 203,888 — approximately 43 percent — had missing or duplicate information. The Times reported that auditors had discovered that 24,520 serial numbers were repeated at least once in the database, and 50, 304 serial numbers had no shipping or receiving dates recorded for them.
Jeffrey Brown, senior audit manager for SIGAR, told The Times that the agency has “no evidence” that the weapons have made their way to militant hotspots, such as neighboring Pakistan. However, he added, “That wasn’t really in the scope of our audit.”
I fail to see how there is “no evidence” that the missing 203,888 weapons haven’t made their way to militant hotspots. They didn’t even know that the weapons were missing in the first place…