The Office of Inspector General for the Pentagon’s findings from September 2016 were finally made available to the public on Wednesday as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the human rights group Amnesty International.
The government audit revealed that the Department of Defense (DoD) “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of a significant amount of equipment coming into Kuwait and Iraq to provision the Iraqi Army.
You may be wondering, how does the government, the organization we are expected to “trust,” lose track of such an extensive amount of arms? More importantly, where are they going to end up and why are our taxpayer dollars being wasted like this?
How the US Army “Lost Track” of $1 Billion Worth of Weaponry
This past Wednesday, it was confirmed that the U.S. army lost over $1 billion worth of arms and military equipment designated under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF), which was on its way to the Iraqi government in order to help them combat the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Now, these items are completely unaccounted for, so they’re literally “lost in transit.”
The Army’s 1st Theater Sustainment Command “did not have effective controls to maintain complete visibility and accountability of ITEF equipment in Kuwait and Iraq prior to transfer to the Government of Iraq,” the audit said. Let’s keep in mind that this isn’t just small war items being transferred, but large commercial vehicles and weaponry.
Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights Researcher, explained: “This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region.”
This isn’t the only time the U.S. has lost arms, either. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has published ample evidence proving the Pentagon has poorly managed its finances, such as when it lost $500 million in U.S. military aid to Yemen. The public feared that the military equipment would be found and used by terrorist groups, much like the situation now in Iraq. However, let’s keep in mind that this wouldn’t be anything “new” per se, since the U.S. government already sells arms to terrorist groups overseas. You can read more about that in our CE article here.
Wilcken continued: “It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.”
Congress actually decided that the ITEF would receive $715 million more last year in funding, despite already being a $1.6 billion program. Perhaps the program will receive less funding now that the U.S. army has proven its incompetence (though this was already known given its previous “lost” arms).
According to Amnesty International, the transfers included “tens of thousands of assault rifles worth $28 million, hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles” to the Iraqi Army.
After all this time and all these warnings, the same problems keep re-occurring. This should be an urgent wake-up call for the US, and all countries supplying arms to Iraq, to urgently shore up checks and controls. Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy; it is just reckless.
Despite the Pentagon’s promise to do better, many people doubt their capabilities given their previous track record.
The Pentagon Has Lost Trillions of Dollars
Unlike every other business and organization in the United States, the Pentagon does not get audited on a yearly basis. To be clear, this is illegal. Legislation that was passed in the early 90s states that all government agencies must be audited on an annual basis. However, since the Pentagon doesn’t get audited yearly, an astounding $10 trillion in taxpayer money has gone completely unaccounted for since 1996.
“Over the last 20 years, the Pentagon has broken every promise to Congress about when an audit would be completed,” the director of the Audit the Pentagon coalition, Rafael DeGennaro, explained. “Meanwhile, Congress has more than doubled the Pentagon’s budget.”
Not only has the Pentagon’s budget increased year after year, but it will continue to do so without question, despite the fact that tons of this money is wasted or unaccounted for. This seems strange, especially after the Washington Post exposed that the Pentagon had recently buried a report that proved they wasted $125 billion. The Pentagon even tried to hide this internal study out of fear that the U.S. government would decrease its budget, making it more than a little ironic that the Trump administration chose to increase it instead. You can read about this in our CE article here.
There are many more examples of the army losing money. The army lost $5.8 billion worth of supplies between 2003 and 2011, which it claimed was the result of moving equipment between reserve and regular units. As a result, the Pentagon Inspector General explained in a 2012 report that units “may experience equipment shortages that could hinder their ability to train soldiers and respond to emergencies.”
You can read more in the following CE article:
Why Is There No Mainstream Media Coverage?
Given the gravity of the situation at hand, it seems strange that mainstream media hasn’t covered this topic extensively (yet). This isn’t necessarily a surprise, since it’s well-known that mainstream news outlets are essentially owned and operated by the government.
Corporations and government agencies have the ability to manipulate news stories and will often completely halt them if the information is too sensitive or paints them in a negative light (even if it’s the truth). Though this may not be what’s happening here, it’s certainly a possibility.
For further information on this subject, I suggest you look into Sharyl Attkisson and Amber Lyon, who are both well-known mainstream media reporters and journalists that exposed how news outlets cater to political, corporate, and other special interests and are actually funded by them. Mainstream media outlets are routinely paid by the U.S. government as well as foreign governments to selectively report and distort information on certain events. (source)(source)
Let’s not forget about Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to control mainstream media.
Despite the lack of transparency within the world of current events today, I encourage you to use your critical thinking skills and continue to search for the truth! More disclosure is occurring every year and we’ve seen major hurdles such as the Freedom of Information Act and the slow demise of the cabal’s power. Let’s continue to share information and uncover the truth!
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