IN OTHER WORDS
The US Government Accountability Office reports that more than 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles and another 80,000 pistols that Washington thought it was providing to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005 are now unaccounted for. More than 100,000 pieces of body armor and a similar number of helmets have also gone missing. The missing weapons amount to fully 30% of the weapons handed out by Washington to Iraqis through the start of this year. Some were presumably diverted into black market arms bazaars where they were picked up for cash, no questions asked. Some almost certainly ended up in the hands of insurgent militias, who use small arms fire to force American military convoys into the path of roadside bombs.
The US has spent more than $19 billion trying to develop capable Iraqi security forces, with little to show in return. Iraqi units have proved unreliable. Last mo-nth’s benchmarks report from the White House found only six Iraqi battalions able to operate without American support. Washington is now officially backing two opposing armies: the Shiite government in Baghdad tied to sectarian militias and the Sunni militias fighting Al Qaeda in Anbar Province. How much worse if the Pentagon’s ineptitude has been funneling AK-47s to insurgent fighters who are killing Americans on a daily basis.