Gun Control

August 6th, 2007at 11:14am Posted by Eli

I keep hearing about the Terrible Deadly Threat Al Qaeda In Iraq, but now I’m starting to worry that there’s an NRA In Iraq:

The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.

The author of the report from the Government Accountability Office says U.S. military officials do not know what happened to 30 percent of the weapons the United States distributed to Iraqi forces from 2004 through early this year as part of an effort to train and equip the troops. The highest previous estimate of unaccounted-for weapons was 14,000, in a report issued last year by the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

(…)

Although controls have been tightened since 2005, the inability of the United States to track weapons with tools such as serial numbers makes it nearly impossible for the U.S. military to know whether it is battling an enemy equipped by American taxpayers.

“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.”

(…)

She noted that the Bush administration frequently complains that Iran and Syria are supplying insurgents but has paid little attention to whether U.S. military errors inadvertently play a role. “We know there is seepage and very little is being done to address the problem,” she said.

Stohl noted that U.S. forces, focused on a fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction after Baghdad fell, did not secure massive weapons caches. The failure to track small arms given to Iraqi forces repeats that pattern of neglect, she added.

I think our course of action is clear. If we are truly serious about cracking down on those who would arm Iraqi insurgents, then we have no choice but to invade ourselves.

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Republicans,War


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