The United States Government has lost track of $1 billion worth of military equipment from its assistance packages in Iraq due to its shoddy record-keeping processes, according to a new report. According to Sputnik News, a September 2016 internal government audit released on Wednesday said that inefficient documentation processes covering the large datasets that track the US Government’s multi-billion dollar program to arm the Iraqi government resulted in “inaccurate visibility and accountability documentation for equipment worth more than $1 billion.”
Expressing concern over the report, Amnesty’s Arms Control and Human Rights Researcher Patrick Wilcken said, “The audit, published online following an Amnesty International Freedom of Information Act request, provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system to a hugely volatile region.”
The audit was circulated among the Pentagon brass in September of last year.
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Budget authorisations from 2015 and 2016 funnelled $2.3 billion to the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF) to support the Iraqi Government and Iraqi security forces, and to “improve the efficiency” of the Peshmerga, an outfit of Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.
“Any fragilities along the transfer chain greatly increase the risks of weapons going astray in a region where armed groups have wrought havoc and caused immense human suffering,’ the researcher added.