More than 40 percent of weapons provided by the U.S. to Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police forces have gone missing, according to a report released Monday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.
The report stated that two systems -- the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database, or OVERLORD, and the Security Cooperation Information Portal, or SCIP, which were put in place to keep track of the weapons, are filled with “errors and discrepancies.”
“The databases did not always match. Some records were duplicated, and some records were incomplete... missing information could result in the inability to locate weapons,” it said.
The report also stated that, “Of the 474,823 total serial numbers recorded in OVERLORD, 43 percent, or 203,888 weapons, had missing information and/or duplication.” It also added that there were several instances where serial numbers of weapons were “repeated two or three times” in OVERLORD as well as in SCIP.
Many of the nearly 750,000 weapons handed over by the U.S. Department of Defense to Afghan forces, could “go on the black market and enter another country,” Jeffrey Brown, senior audit manager for SIGAR, told The Washington Times.
The SIGAR report expressed concerns, based on inspections by auditors at weapons depots in Kabul and Kandahar, over the “lack of reliable weapons inventories, security conditions, disorganized weapon storage containers and the lack of access to portions of ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces)-controlled facilities.”
The report also noted that an excess of at least 112,000 weapons, including AK-47s and “NATO standard weapons, such as M-16s” had been provided to Afghan security forces.
To ensure an accurate account of weapons transferred to Afghan forces, the report recommended that the Pentagon “perform a full reconciliation of OVERLORD and SCIP and correct any data errors identified between the two systems within six months” and “to complete a 100 percent inventory check of small arms transferred to the ANSF.”
U.S. President Barack Obama had stated in May that it is “time to turn the page on a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” and announced that the U.S. will reduce its troop size in Afghanistan to about 10,000 soldiers after 2014, and bring back most troops by 2016.