MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – The US government cannot track where almost 750,000 weapons sent to Afghanistan’s Army went, BuzzFeed reported Monday, citing a report by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko.
“We’re very concerned that weapons paid for by US taxpayers could wind up in the hands of insurgents and be used to kill Americans and Afghan troops and civilians,” BuzzFeed quoted Sopko as saying.
According to the website, an official with SIGAR said that the data from the US Defense Department was “not very reliable,” but the report stated that the number of weapons distributed to Afghan forces included 465,000 small arms and 83,000 excess AK-47 assault rifles.
“The Afghan government is responsible for the accountability of its weapons once they are transferred to their possession, as are all receiving nations of US foreign military sales,” Pentagon spokesman, Maj. Bradlee Avots said, BuzzFeed reported.
He was also cited saying that the US Defense Department intended to find a way to ensure that Afghanistan did inventory checks on the guns it already had before receiving new arms from the United States.
In 2010, the Pentagon was required by law to implement systems to track and monitor weapons delivered to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Two databases, SCIP and OVERLORD, were created but they were not synchronized or linked and tens of thousands of weapons had missing or duplicated information.
The accounting of weapons sent to Afghanistan has been a problem for the United States for quite a while. In 2009, the serial numbers of 46,000 of 250,000 weapons had not been written down, which made them completely untraceable.