Over the past 15 years, the United States has lost track of a large amount of weapons and military hardware delivered to its allies across the world. There have been many cases when US weapons ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda and Daesh.
In order to stop the turmoil in the Middle East, unlimited global arms trade by the US should be stopped, Bonnie Kristian, a fellow at Defense Priorities, wrote in an article for Real Clear Defense.
“As we have learned over and over in recent years, there are all too many ways American military gear and weapons can end up in enemy hands,” the article read.
In June 2015, Daesh militants captured thousands of US-supplied Humvee vehicles, valued at $1 billion from the Iraqi Army. In September 2015, Pentagon-trained moderate rebel forces directly handed over their arms supplies to al-Qaeda branches, the article read.
In addition, all these facts have been ignored by major American media, the author wrote. In August, The New York Times reported that over the past 15 years, the US lost track of hundreds of thousands of weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the report, the Pentagon can only account for 25 percent of the shipments.
“Much of the rest now fuels a vibrant black market, offering arms to the Mideast’s least savoury characters, ISIS [Daesh] very much included,” Kristian wrote.
This “carelessness” is not something new, she continued. In 2014, over 200,000 weapons, some 43 percent of the small arms the US supplied to Afghanistan, were improperly recorded and went missing.
In 2009, US-made weapons were found on the bodies of killed Taliban fighters. In 2007, some 190,000 weapons sent to Iraq were missing.
“Today that same dysfunction persists. We are arming our enemies in significant part thanks to poor record-keeping, a seemingly basic task which our government has yet managed to botch. […] Despite years of evidence that reckless arms transfers contribute to regional chaos, the Obama administration is sending more powerful weapons for distribution in the Middle East,” she wrote.
According to her, this “wasteful and dangerous cycle” is unlikely to be stopped in the near future.