US army ‘failed to track arms it sent to Iraq gov’t’
NEW YORKThe U.S. army failed to account for military equipment and vehicles worth more than $1 billion that were intended for Iraqi government forces, according to a 2016 audit by the Pentagon’s inspector general.
“The army’s 1st Theater Sustainment Command (1st TSC), which serves as a logistics headquarters and maintains the visibility and property accountability of Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF) equipment until transferred to the Iraqi government,” could not provide complete data for the quantity and dollar value of equipment on hand, including rolling stock and ammunition,” said the audit report. “Rolling stock” refers to vehicles.
Originally marked “for official use only,” the audit was obtained and released by Amnesty International on May 24 through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Amnesty researcher Patrick Wilcken said in a statement that the report “provides a worrying insight into the U.S. Army’s flawed - and potentially dangerous - system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region.”
“It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of U.S. arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq,” including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Wilcken said.
The arms were going to the Iraqi government in support of its fight against ISIL, as part of a Congress-approved fund of $1.6 billion in 2015.