BAGHDAD - August 1, 2007 - The United States government cannot account for 190,000 weapons issued to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to the Government Accountability Office.
According to its July 31 report, the military “cannot fully account for about 110,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 80,000 pistols, 135,000 items of body armor and 115,000 helmets reported as issued to Iraqi forces”.
The weapons disappeared from records between June 2004 and September 2005, as the military struggled to rebuild the disbanded Iraqi forces from scratch amid increasing attacks from Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
Since 2004 the military “has not consistently collected supporting records confirming the dates the equipment was received, the quantities of equipment delivered, or the Iraqi units receiving the items,” the report said.
“Since 2006 the command has placed greater emphasis on collecting the supporting documents. However, GAO's review of the January 2007 property books found continuing problems with missing and incomplete records.”
U.S. commanders often accuse foreign powers such as Iran of supplying arms to illegal militias fighting in Iraq, but the report shows they cannot fully account for the hundreds thousands of weapons they brought in themselves.