6/15/17 – Iraq Accountability

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The U.S. Army cannot account for a billion dollars worth of military equipment in Iraq.  That’s billion with a B.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

Congress created a new appropriation for 2015.  About 1.6 billion dollars worth of military weapons and supplies would be given to the Iraq army.  It was to be used to combat ISIS.  An additional 700 million dollars of equipment was added the following year.

A Pentagon IG audit painted a sorry state of affairs.  The audit was obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Army maintained inadequate records on a billion dollars worth of the equipment. The Army wasn’t sure where it went.  There’s no knowing if the gear was sold, given to militias or landed in the hands of ISIS.

In spite of today’s technology and automated inventory systems, the Army relied on handwritten spreadsheets maintained by numerous subordinate commands. They were so incomplete, the Army didn’t even know what equipment it had yet to distribute.

This isn’t a new problem.  A 2007 GAO investigation found a similar problem of insufficient accounting and inventory procedures.

This is unsatisfactory, to say the least.

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