- CNN -
More than one-third of all weapons the United States has procured for Afghanistan's government are missing, according to a government report released Thursday.
U.S.-issue M249 squad automatic weapons
are shown at a camp in Kandahar in December.
"Accountability lapses occurred throughout the supply chain," it says.
The Defense Department spent roughly $120 million during that period to acquire a range of small arms and light weapons for the Afghan National Security Forces, including rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
The military also failed to properly account for an additional 135,000 weapons it obtained for the Afghan forces from 21 other countries.
"What if we had to tell families [of U.S. soldiers] not only why we are in Afghanistan but why their son or daughter died at the hands of an insurgent using a weapon purchased by the United States taxpayers? But that's what we risk if we were to have tens of thousands of weapons we provided washing around Afghanistan, off the books," Rep. John Tierney, D-Massachusetts, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, said at the start of a congressional hearing on the report.
The military is unable to provide serial numbers for 46,000 of the missing 87,000 weapons, the report concludes. No records have been maintained for the location or disposition for the other 41,000 weapons.