The Pentagon Has No Clue How Many Weapons It Has Lost to ISIS

Introduction — Jan 22, 2016

In this photo taken Monday, June 23, 2014, fighters of the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle down a main road at the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, more than two weeks after ISIL took over the country's second largest city. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Mideast nations on Wednesday against taking new military action in Iraq that might heighten already-tense sectarian divisions, as reports surfaced that Syria launched airstrikes across the border and Iran has been flying surveillance drones over the neighboring country. (AP Photo)

In this photo taken Monday, June 23, 2014, fighters of the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle down a main road at the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, more than two weeks after ISIL took over the country’s second largest city. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Mideast nations on Wednesday against taking new military action in Iraq that might heighten already-tense sectarian divisions, as reports surfaced that Syria launched airstrikes across the border and Iran has been flying surveillance drones over the neighboring country. (AP Photo)

While it’s true that Islamic State has captured a lot of U.S. made weapons and ordnance, the following Mother Jones report conveniently overlooks the fact that much of it may have been supplied to the militants by U.S. allies.
There have been repeated reports of the CIA, Qatar and Saudi Arabia covertly arming the militants. Although the Saudis claim these weapons are being supplied to “moderate” opposition groups like the Free Syrian Army, much of what is supplied ends up in the hands of more extreme elements.
According to Reuters, Turkish intelligence has also been supplying militants fighting in Syria with arms and ammunition.
“Testimony from gendarmerie officers in court documents reviewed by Reuters allege that rocket parts, ammunition and semi-finished mortar shells were carried in trucks accompanied by state intelligence agency (MIT) officials more than a year ago to parts of Syria under Islamist control.”
There’s no mention of this in the following. Instead, the writer claims that weapons that fall into the hands of militants do so “due to shoddy recordkeeping by the Iraqi army”.
Despite the fact that there have been repeated reports that Syrian militants were using arms supplied by Saudi Arabia, the following doesn’t even allude to this.
Instead it makes reference to “no post-delivery controls [for weapons] in place” and “shoddy record keeping”. Innocuous sounding faults which, Mother Jones’s claims resulted in the loss of:
“significant amounts of US-supplied arms—including rifles, pistols, and ammunition— … largely thanks to the Iraqi military’s patchwork supply system.
“The source of the problem is no mystery: the Iraqi military”
So the problem lies with the Iraqis, or so Mother Jones would have readers believe. Making what follows disinformation disguised as journalism and intended to cover the fact that U.S. allies are covertly aiding the militants.

The Pentagon Has No Clue How Many Weapons It Has Lost to ISIS

Max Rosenthal — Mother Jones Jan 22, 2016

For more than a decade, the United States has supplied huge quantities of weapons and military hardware to the Iraqi government—and a large chunk of that equipment has disappeared and landed in the hands of ISIS fighters and members of Iranian-backed Shiite militias responsible for massacring civilians. Everything from M-16s and bullets to Humvees and tanks have been lost. But neither the US nor Iraqi governments can say how much US-supplied materiel has been diverted to militant groups or how it’s ending up there.

Losing weapons to extremists and insurgents has long been a problem for the US military and the Iraqi army, but it became more urgent after ISIS seized chunks of Iraq in 2014, overrunning Iraqi troops and sweeping up their weapons. With that equipment, ISIS solidified its hold on its captured territory and drew the United States back into Iraq. Still, the Pentagon has not been able to monitor the loss of its weapons and other supplies to ISIS. “The bottom line is that the US military does not have a means to track equipment that has been taken from the Government of Iraq by ISIL,” Commander Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, wrote in an email to Mother Jones, using the government’s preferred acronym for ISIS.

 It’s not supposed to work this way. “The US does place a lot of restrictions—in theory—on [arms] transfers,” says Patrick Wilcken of Amnesty International, who worked on a recent report on ISIS’s weaponry. If the United States wants to provide arms to another country, the Department of Defense is required by law to obtain assurances that the weapons will be secured. There’s a Pentagon organization called the Defense Security Cooperation Agency that carries out and monitors these arms shipments and makes sure the weapons are being used for their intended purposes. And a 2013 UN treaty bars the United States from providing arms to countries where weapons could end up with armed groups committing human rights violations. But despite these mechanisms, significant amounts of US-supplied arms—including rifles, pistols, and ammunition—are still going missing, largely thanks to the Iraqi military’s patchwork supply system.

Continues …

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