An estimated 110,000 of the 185,000 AK47 rifles, 80,000 of the 170,000 pistols, 135,000 of the 215,000 items of body armor and 115,000 of the 140,000 helmets given to Iraqi security forces (funded by the U.S.) from June 2004 until December 2005 are reportedly missing, unaccounted for by the Pentagon, thought to be in the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.
A report (PDF) from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates that 30 percent of the weapons distributed to the Iraqi forces from 2004 to earlier this year disappeared and U.S. military officials don’t know what happened to them.
The GAO estimates the U.S. has spent $19.2 billion in efforts to develop Iraqi security forces since 2003, including $2.8 billion to purchase and deliver equipment. According the GAO, weapons distribution was haphazard, rushed and didn’t follow established procedures, particularly from June 2004 until December 2005.
As of July 2007 no accountability procedures, if any existed, had been specified by the Department of Defense (DoD) or the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) to the train-and-equip program for Iraq. Because Congress funded the program, the DoD stated that their accountability programs normally applicable (including registering small arms transferred to foreign governments) did not apply.