"Not securing these conventional munitions storage site has been costly, as government reports indicated that looted munitions are being used to make improvised explosive devices (IED) that have killed or maimed many people, and will likely continue to support terrorist attacks in the region," the GAO report summary reads.
Reports says the U.S. military does not know the scope of theft from prewar stockpiles and how many caches are at risk.
WASHINGTON — Four years after invading Iraq, the U.S. military still does not know how many tons of explosives were stolen from the country's massive prewar stockpiles or how many weapons caches remain unsecured, according to a government audit made public Thursday.
Many of the looted munitions have since made their way into the roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices responsible for the bulk of U.S. troop deaths in Iraq.
The Government Accountability Office report cites a lack of manpower, inadequate planning and misplaced priorities in the military's failure to account for and immediately secure weapons during and after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The number of unaccounted-for munitions "could range significantly from thousands to millions of tons," says an unclassified version of the report released at a congressional hearing.
The report warns that some weapons stockpiles still may be vulnerable to looting and could fall into the hands of insurgents and terrorists. As recently as October, government investigators could not confirm that all weapons sites had been physically secured, and said that there apparently had been no nationwide tally by the Defense Department.
WASHINGTON -- A newly declassified government report says that half of American troop deaths in Iraq have been caused by explosives left over from Saddam Hussein's regime and that even four years after the war began the US military has failed to conduct an adequate inventory of Hussein's weapons depots.
The assessment by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found that Iraq remains awash in unsecured mortar rounds, shells, and grenades left over from the former regime and that "the looted munitions will likely continue to support terrorist attacks throughout the region."
In one case, insurgents repeatedly stole explosives from a well-known depot while the Iraqi government was supposed to be disposing of the arms, according to the report, which was written in December and based on field reports and secret intelligence.
Privatization of War
Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
Inspector-General, USA, Iraq, insurgency, Iran, IED, GAO, crony-capitalism, subsidies, war-profiteering, taxpayers,