Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Buddy, Wanna buy an AK-47?

There are somethings you lose (keys, remote control, virginity) and some things you don't lose (wedding ring, 363 tons of shrink-wrapped hundred dollar bills, 190,000 AK-47s and pistols). Guess which one America has not lost in Iraq? Even though some poor official has probably misplaced his wedding ring, that cannot be blamed on America. The scary fact is, the other two have gone missing.

Yes, I know the misplaced (oops) 12 Billion dollars is old news and could in fact purchase purchase over ten million AK-47s (according to a source well informed on these matters), the almost 200,000 missing Ak-47s and pistols is more disturbing to me. To know that American and allied men and women are being shot with their own weapons is astounding.

Issued to Iraqi Forces Listed in the Iraqi Property Books Missing
AK-47s 185,000 75,000 110,000
Pistols 170,000 90,000 80,000
Body Armor 215,000 80,000 135,000
Helmets 140,000 25,000 115,000

When I heard that the money went missing, I thought it was a typical situation on a very large scale, but we are not supposed to misplace weapons. And we are not supposed to misplace enough weapons to arm a significant force. Let's not forget that the bad guys will be able to use the weapons not just against us, but also as currency.

From the Washington Post
"They really have no idea where they are," said Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information who has studied small-arms trade and received Pentagon briefings on the issue. "It likely means that the United States is unintentionally providing weapons to bad actors."
Bad actors indeed. No, let us not down play the situation. The United States is unintentionally providing weapons to the enemy.

I thought there were checks and balances? When someone takes possession of a weapon, or a humvee, or a tennis racket don't they have to sign for it? Is there not a record of the chain of possession on enough fully automatic assault rifles, pistols, body armor and Helmets to stock 3 average sized Costco outlets?

Sorry, all I have right now is questions and an uncomfortable feeling in my gut.

Where is the responsibility?

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