A government oversight agency says the Pentagon has lost track of more than 40 percent of the $626 million in firearms it has provided to Afghanistan’s security forces, prompting officials to contemplate a “carrot and stick” approach to arming the fledgling military.
A Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report scheduled to be made public Monday says the Pentagon’s two primary information systems that track weapons sent to Afghanistan — the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database and the Security Cooperation Information Portal — are rife with errors.
Although the oversight agency cannot say at this point whether any of the arms have made their way into neighboring countries such as Pakistan, the flawed tracking methods are fostering fears that militants could gain control of Pentagon-supplied weapons.
Jeffrey Brown, senior audit manager for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said those weapons could very well “go on the black market and enter another country.”
“We have no evidence that it has,” he said. “But that wasn’t really in the scope of our audit.”
Over the past decade, the Pentagon has provided what the report describes as more than 747,000 weapons and auxiliary equipment to the Afghan National Security Forces. Small arms, such as rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers and shotguns, account for the majority of those weapons.