US military loses 222,000 weapons sent to Afghanistan since 2001
The US military has lost track of about 222,000 weapons shipped to Afghanistan since 2001, a leaked report compiled by the US Government Accountability Office revealed.
The report shows that the US military failed to keep proper records of 87,000 rifles, pistols, mortars and other weapons sent to Afghanistan between December 2004 and June 2008. It also failed to track 135,000 weapons donated to Afghan security by 21 other countries. The UN spent more than $100 million (£70 million) on a disarmament programme that sought to remove weapons from the hands of illegal armed groups after November 2003. Many militiamen are known to have handed over antique or faulty weapons and UN officials reported First World War and even 19th-century flintlock rifles surrendered, rather than AK47s and rocket launchers.
There remains a thriving arms trade in the country, one of the most heavily armed societies on Earth. Afghan police units, in particular, are frequently accused of selling weapons and ammunition to the Taleban. The report comes as the US considers proposals to begin arming village militias.