In what is just another example of the incompetence of the American military and our War on Terror, it has recently been reported that 242,000 weapons were given to Afghanistan over the past four years, and many of them cannot be accounted for. They were not properly tacked, serial numbers were not written down, and now it is next to impossible to find these things. The weapons included Kalashnikov rifles, pistols, machine guns, and rocket propelled grenades and launchers. It is unclear exactly how these weapons went missing, or in the official jargon, remain unaccounted for, but one thing is clear: the supply chain and the controls in place to track these weapons broke down. And they broke down hard.
What is the big deal about these missing weapons (as if I need to ask)? Well, for one thing, many of the unaccountedfor items could be in the hands of the Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan, and it is entirely possible that they are being used against US and NATO troops. That’s right, the US moronic military may have inadvertently supplied its enemies with weapons that are now being used against it and its allies. It seems to me that the first thing to be done with these weapons would have been to make sure that they were checked and documented to ensure that they would not get lost. After all, how can we expect things to get better, violence to decrease, if we continue to arm those that fight against us. It’s like the military (and those that commands it) wants to war to continue into perpetuity. I cannot believe that is true because I cannot really formulate a real reason for that desire or way of thinking.
Of course, it could be totally true that some in power want the war in Afghanistan to continue for years and years. Some possible reasons might be the drugs that are there, or the tons of cash to be made through reconstruction and other private sector contracts a la Iraq. However, Afghanistan is in no way shape or form nearly as stable as Iraq was (even at the beginning of this second and longer Iraq War), so those possible reconstruction contracts are really a long way off, and supplying weapons to the enemy will not hasten their approach.
Steps are being taken to keep something like this from happening again. Those steps include getting more people working in the Defense Department to address this security issue (and it is a security issue, of that there is no doubt) as well as starting to record the serial numbers of small arms and finding a way to track the locations of weapons. Of course, this does nothing to address the current situation of the missing weapons that are possibly being used against our own, but it is a step in the right direction in terms of helping to prevent this from happening in the future. My question, though, is why did it take a butt-load of missing weapons for this to become a problem that needed addressing?
I know people, and the military especially, make mistakes but this is ridiculous. This is a mistake that could quite possibly cost the lives of American troops, as well as Afghani soldiers. This is not an “oops, sorry, it won’t happen again,” situation, but that is how it is being treated. Charges need to be brought, and those responsible for the breakdown in tracking these weapons need to be held accountable. That won’t happen, of course, but it needs to. Otherwise, this kind of thing will just keep happening, regardless of whatever new safe-guards are put in place because if you don’t punish the transgressors, they will just continue to transgress. After all, why should they stop when it has been shown to them that they will not face any consequences for their actions?