Monday, October 30, 2006

U.S. Army Provides Weapons For Insurgents

The New York Times reports that Senator John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, asked the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction "to examine whether Iraqi security forces were developing a logistics operation capable of sustaining the hundreds of thousands of troops and police officers the American military says it has trained." The Times says

The answers came Sunday from the inspector general’s office, which found major discrepancies in American military records on where thousands of 9-millimeter pistols and hundreds of assault rifles and other weapons have ended up. The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands.

Exactly where untracked weapons could end up — and whether some have been used against American soldiers — were not examined in the report, although black-market arms dealers thrive on the streets of Baghdad, and official Iraq Army and police uniforms can easily be purchased as well, presumably because government shipments are intercepted or otherwise corrupted.

In a written response to the inspector general’s findings, the American military largely conceded the shortcomings. The military said it would assist the Iraqis in determining the spare parts and maintenance requirements for the weapons. The military also said it has now instituted a “process to accurately issue weapons by quantity and serial number listing.”

Because the inspector general is charged only with looking at weaponry financed directly by the American taxpayer, the total of lost weapons could end up being higher. The Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon inspector general are expected to look at weapons financed by all sources, including the Iraqi government.

So basically the United States Army is providing weapons for insurgents, militiamen and/or people involved in sectarian violence at American taxpayer expense.

Nice, huh?

With 100 dead American military personnel this month and with the sectarian violence in Iraq returning to scary levels after a brief respite for the end of Ramadan, you have to wonder how much of the bloodshed occurring in Iraq is being perpetrated by people armed with American weapons.

It's just another example of the incompetence of this administration that they don't know where the weapons they're supposed to be providing for Iraqi security forces are ending up. Just the way they didn't know Saddam's weapons dumps would be looted after the Fall of Baghdad. Or the the way they didn't know an insurgency would develop when they tried to occupy a Muslim country for a few years. Or the way they didn't understand the divide between Sunni and Shia might mean their unicorn fantasies for democracy in Iraq could never be achieved.

Sheer incompetence by Bushie and Cheney and Rummy and Rice and the rest. If these fuckers were running a major corporation instead of the U.S. government, they would have been fired from their jobs long ago (and given generous severance packages instead of Medals of Freedom.) But here we are, four years into the worst foreign policy debacle in United States history (yes, it's worse than Vietnam), and these people are still running things to their heart's delight and to the detriment of any American stationed in Iraq and millions of Iraq civilians.

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