The US military failed to keep track of over $1bn worth of weapons and military equipment sent to Iraq, Amnesty International reported adding that some of those arms could have ended up in the hands of ISIS terrorists.
“The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified US Department of Defense audit obtained by Amnesty International following freedom of information requests.
The audit, from last September, reveals that the Department of Defense “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of a vast amount of equipment pouring into Iraq and Kuwait to provision the Iraqi Army.
The equipment – which include hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles, tens of thousands of assault rifles and hundreds of mortar rounds – was destined for use by the central Iraqi Army, including the predominantly Shi’a Popular Mobilisation Units, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
The audit revealed several serious shortcomings in how equipment was logged and monitored from the point of delivery onward, including:
· Fragmentary record-keeping in arms depots in Kuwait and Iraq, with information logged across multiple spreadsheets, databases and even on hand-written receipts.
· Large quantities of equipment manually entered into multiple spreadsheets, increasing the risk of human error.
· Incomplete records meaning those responsible for the equipment were unable to ascertain its location or status.
The military transfers came under the “Iraq Train and Equip Fund” (ITEF), a key part of US-Iraqi security cooperation. In 2015, US Congress allocated $1.6 billion for the programme to combat the advance of the Islamic State armed group,” the Amnesty International report reads.
This makes it easier for equipment to end up in the hands of various terrorist groups including ISIS. The organization also nted that it has regularly documented a lack of control and monitoring of equipment within the Iraqi chain of command.