Friday, February 13, 2009

US arms 221,000 militants across Afghanistan and the Indian sub-continent

Well, we didn't exactly set up booths in the bazaars and sell them to Al Qaeda or the Taliban, except ....

... that we sorta did.

From the Times Online:

The US military has lost track of about 222,000 weapons shipped to Afghanistan since 2001, a leaked report compiled by the US Government Accountability Office revealed.

The report shows that the US military failed to keep proper records of 87,000 rifles, pistols, mortars and other weapons sent to Afghanistan between December 2004 and June 2008. It also failed to track 135,000 weapons donated to Afghan security by 21 other countries. The UN spent more than $100 million (£70 million) on a disarmament programme that sought to remove weapons from the hands of illegal armed groups after November 2003. Many militiamen are known to have handed over antique or faulty weapons and UN officials reported First World War and even 19th-century flintlock rifles surrendered, rather than AK47s and rocket launchers.

There remains a thriving arms trade in the country, one of the most heavily armed societies on Earth. Afghan police units, in particular, are frequently accused of selling weapons and ammunition to the Taleban. The report comes as the US considers proposals to begin arming village militias.


That's one weapon for every 148 people in Afghanistan....

... and that doesn't count the ones that we know we gave them.

But look on the bright side: since even government waste is being touted these days as stimulus-created-jobs, we've at least been keeping the employees of defense contractors gainfully employed.

2 comments:

Delaware Watch said...

Let's not discount the possibility that some of these arms were deliberately "lost" so they could be given to factions we secretly support. It's not as though we haven't done that sort of thing before.

Steve Newton said...

Dana
I'm not discounting that possibility--I include the factions we support under the rubric "militants"