Pentagon Admits to Losing over 700,000 Small Arms in Iraq, Afghanistan


(Photo: AFP)

Sometimes I lose track of my keys. It’s the worst. But I know that ignoring the problem puts me and my family at risk (not to mention keeps us from getting to the grocery store), so I keep looking until I find them.

The Pentagon is a massive organization filled with intelligence agents, officers, soldiers, analysts, tired bureaucrats, and incompetent interns (I assume—who doesn’t have incompetent interns these days?). These folks sometimes make mistakes and, like me, lose track of stuff.

But an April report from the New York Times suggests that the Pentagon’s record-keeping problems go way beyond a few misplaced pieces of equipment.

The Times describes how a lobbying group in London called Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) gained access to Department of Defense records to determine exactly how many small arms the United States had shipped to Iraqi and Afghan forces.

They found a total of 1,452,622 weapons, ranging from AK-47s to pistols to sniper rifles. Here’s a helpful summary from Zero Hedge:

  • 692,439 were listed as assault rifles – not including AK47s (491,474 for Iraq, 200,965 for Afghanistan)
  • 285,981 were listed as AK47s (95,981 for Afghanistan and 190,000 for Iraq)
  • 266,272 were listed as pistols (176,983 for Iraq, 89,289 for Afghanistan)
  • 111,844 were listed as machine guns (54,099 for Iraq, 57,745 for Afghanistan)
  • 13,604 were listed as shotguns (346 for Iraq, 13,258 for Afghanistan)
  • 11,475 were listed as sniper rifles (2,248 for Iraq, 9,227 for Afghanistan)
  • For Afghanistan there were also 36,575 unspecified rifles listed and 288 unspecified non-standard small arms listed; for Iraq there were 34,432 unspecified rifles listed.

Five months later the AOAV received a response from the DOD in which they included their own list of small arms sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. Here are those charts from the DOD:

Iraq_0 Afghanistan_0

Check out those totals. The DOD was only able to account for 48 percent of the weapons identified by a London-based private organization using government documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

The Pentagon’s excuse?

“Speed was essential in getting those nations’ security forces armed, equipped and trained to meet these extreme challenges,” Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesman, told the Times. “As a result, lapses in accountability of some of the weapons transferred occurred.”

Facebook picture highlighted by Zero Hedge.

Facebook picture highlighted by Zero Hedge.

No kidding.

Now those unaccounted weapons are showing up on Facebook pages in the Middle East, ready for use by the next extremist with the appropriate amount of cold hard cash.

I don’t want to rag on the Pentagon too much. I have no idea how difficult it is to coordinate our activities in the Middle East, and members of our military can’t always control what allies do with the weapons we give them.

But it isn’t just that the Pentagon loses the weapons once they arrive in Iraq—they don’t appear to have any record of shipping the weapons in the first place. I don’t know the extent of the damage this has caused, but it seems likely that the DOD’s inability to track their own weapons has helped to arm our enemies and put American lives at risk.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Gabbar Singh August 28, 2018, 9:50 am

    Woah. Some of the folks commenting on this story should have their guns, knives, forks, and keyboards taken away. Then they should be forced to see a doctor and get some strong medication.

  • Acecool November 25, 2016, 11:29 am

    And we’re the ones that aren’t “responsible” enough to have modern ( read as with the latest and safest technology ) select-fire small-arms….

  • Twisted Left November 20, 2016, 8:29 pm

    The DoD has been known to work around laws and requisition regulation by “losing” small arms. 700,000? yeah, I don’t think they lost that many in Viet Nam…

  • hey September 5, 2016, 1:29 pm

    People of the this country and the world need to understand war is fabericated by the central banks of the global elite. When a country such as the United States goes to war we borrow money with interest from the Federal Reserve that just stacks up to more interest as each dollar becomes worth less and less as well stack more debt on top of other debt. The weapons the Pentagon can give away to our enemies with borrowed money the more the excuse we will have to go to war later as the banks capitalize and crush the world’s last free place to live. What am I saying, alot of freedom is already lost, it just hasn’t clapsed as a super power yet.

  • matt irv September 4, 2016, 9:40 am

    just another.
    fast and furious exactly the same but… different

  • Lester September 3, 2016, 12:35 pm

    This is just reality of a none to hell govt. that takes care of ship ins and HillaRYS and Obammers FOREIGN VOTERS AND as they WALK OVER American homeless veterans, and give free every thing health care to these ship ins and money and housing and what ever else they need while our Vets gets crapped on at every turn ,Yes crooked lying HC arm the foreign terrorist and send them out in our towns to full fill your agenda but you might tell them this is America and there are one or two bible carrying, gun toting red necks that will be here to greet them.!!!!

  • Dan F. September 2, 2016, 3:43 pm

    What possible justification could there be for shipping 350 ceremonial M14s to a part of the world with zero connection to that honorable rifle? Who, specifically, authorized that?

  • Powder Burns September 2, 2016, 1:13 pm

    Wake up and smell the bullshit People….The gullibility of the Morons that post on this Site never ceases to amaze me….

  • Ross Walters September 2, 2016, 1:10 pm

    I served two years in the Army during the Vietnam war.
    Judging by the people I met and served with it comes as no surprise today’s military is a disaster and still epitomizes the definition of SNAFU.

  • charles MCDOWELL September 2, 2016, 10:53 am

    someone got rich.

  • andy knote September 2, 2016, 10:30 am

    The article references arms provided to the local nationals security forces of Iraq and Afghanistan, then shows a spreadsheet of what looks like US arms sent to theater for US forces to use and to train local national security forces. Simply put these are two separate things. A discrepancy between these two lists means nothing. List A: given to them. List B, we took for our own use. We didn’t loose anything, you are trying to reconcile 700,000 with Potato. Stop stupid.

  • w broome September 2, 2016, 9:58 am

    i must go through an extensive set of checks and balances to acquire any weapon ,but my enemies are supplied by my government and they say oops …..sadly outgunned !

  • JerryJ September 2, 2016, 7:11 am

    “Crossing myself looking up to GOD whispering,Forgive me for saying this” BUT, IF The Hildebeast wins the election,There will be a WAR in this country. The ILLEGALS,BLACKS and the Moslems, AGAINST, the White Anglos.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • BJG September 2, 2016, 2:16 pm

      You know it~
      Not putting up with 4 more years of this bullshit!

  • Mike September 2, 2016, 7:09 am

    M14 ceremonial rifles? Really?
    I’d like one please?
    Oh, forgot, I’m just a citizen.

  • Roger September 2, 2016, 7:00 am

    I agree with Jaque!!! How and when is the American people going to put the Gov in there place!!! They need to be held accountable because we sure are!!!! We dt get by with the shit like they do!!! The Media is in bed with the gov!!!

    • mtman2 November 25, 2016, 9:13 am

      Both the “gubmint+media are owned by “The U.S.A. Incorporated” ie- The FED+IMF. Who are inturn owned by the Glohalist international banksters comprising of individuals(Rothchild) that are personally worth in excess of
      $300-TRILLION stolen fiat dollars from the American taxpayer.
      This all started with potus Buchanan handing a bankrupt America and emminent Civil War to Lincoln. War cost huge money and the very banks Andrew Jackson shut down arranged this scenario Lincoln inherited- so he borrowed from them. This was solidified and illegally installed in1913 by socialist/statist/progressive president Woodrow Wilson(D)+Dem congress who set up the crash of 29 and caused the Great Depression to get their own socialist tyrant into office[FDR] who called Stalin(also controlled by the bankstets) “my friend” and giving him 1/2 the free world.

      These same banksters set up and financed every major war(worldwide) since at least the year 1800- financing both sides everytime(mega financial win win for them no matter what).

      All for- “the love of money” – best scam to control mankind Satan ever devised.
      To use man’s own greed and un-Godly lust for power to its highest form-!
      Worked like a charm, eh- especially over us sheople.
      They can be shutdown and even arrested- like Iceland just did.
      Only the “sleeping giant” (us) must first awaken ~!

  • Roger September 2, 2016, 6:57 am

    I agree with Jaque!!!!!

  • Elnonio September 2, 2016, 6:25 am

    Well, it must be true since I read it on the internet, or in this case from some British independent company. Reminds me of a bad commercial narrated by a Brit, because everything is much more plausible if said in a British accent…

    I question the sources. ‘Nuff said.

  • Patriot August 29, 2016, 12:31 pm

    This sounds like a typical Obama plan to arm the enemies of the American soldiers in the Middle East. I am sure you know the names of the Democrat idiots who are agreeable to this plan. OBAMA, HILLARY AND BILLY, HARRY REID, PELOSI, FEINSTEIN, BOXER, BLOOMBERG, SOROS, SCHUMER, HEALEY, ETC. Their way of thinking is that it is best to leave Americans as defenseless as possible but to help arm the enemy. Don’t forget, HILLARY AND BILLY ARE ROTTEN TO THE CORE AND SO IS OBAMA!!!!

  • Mark August 28, 2016, 7:59 pm

    If anyone be lives this wasn’t intentional I have a bridge for sale. This is part of the push for the nwo. It’s the same thing with our traitor in chief allowing terrorists free access across the border. It will be interesting time after the election.

  • Tom Horn August 28, 2016, 11:51 am

    Let’s me get this straight. The BATFE supplies the Mexican Drug cartels with weapons, the Dept of Defense supplies ISIS, so who is the Dept of Homeland Security supplying?

    Seriously, happens all the time. Look at, “Charlie Wilson’s War.” You think those weapons aren’t being used against our Soldiers in Afghanistan, even today? These aren’t weapons lost by some sad-sack supply Sgt. These are weapons given to our, so called, ‘friends’ at the time.

    • mtman2 November 25, 2016, 9:31 am

      Homeland Security is arming all the faux unelected un-Constitutional bureaucratic agencies all listed in the alphabet soup federal agencies.
      Giving them ALL military arms and BILLIONS of rounds of ammo.
      Tho you did already know this but a reader may not be-

      “aware of that man with a gun over there” –
      “what’s that sound everybody look what’s going down”.

      That warning call isn’t- “they’re coming'” – because they’re already here large and are in charge. Unless “the sleepers” gain conscienceness.

      It’s past time for the “sleeping giant” to awaken + shake off OUR shakles ~!

  • jerry snaper August 27, 2016, 10:10 am

    I would bet a good number of those weapons will be stored in mosques around the country just waiting for the thousands of fighters that the WH pos infected America with. The fifth column will be activated to cause mass sabotage should Hillary not win the rigged election.

  • Ed Rabibson August 26, 2016, 1:34 pm

    This whole piece reeks of bogus. I can’t believe you guys bit. Sources: New York Times and some anti gun lobbying group from London. And you think they are more reliable than the Pentagon? Did anyone else notice that the numbers from the AOAV are almost exactly double those from the Pentagon? I am a vet, an Ordnance Officer. Sure, mistakes are made and stuff gets lost, especially in combat, but not at anywhere near that order of magnitude.

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Irish-7 August 26, 2016, 12:56 pm

    I was a Supply Sergeant for several years in a 30 year career in the US Army. Our accountability of weapons and other sensitive items was impeccable. We had an incident where a soldier misplaced his M16A1 Rifle/M203 Grenade Launcher (2 weapons fitted together). We stopped training and put the entire Infantry Company online for 8 hours, scanning both sides of a 12 mile road march route. Conditions were most uncomfortable, roughly 100 degrees and very humid. I believe we had close to 300 tick bites before dinner. The soldier did find his own weapon(s). This was somewhat suspicious, but we were glad the ordeal was over! Anyway, this story reminds me of the double standard our government operates with. We hold our soldiers to strict standards, but don’t apply those rules to those outside the military. Case in point: the fast, easy and expeditious payment of Welfare and other government handouts, while a disabled veteran waits a year for a rating that is wrong 33% of the time.

  • Bill August 26, 2016, 9:03 am

    You can’t expect to our government to keep accurate records like it expects its own citizens to keep. My frustrated reaction is to wish that some of those weapons to be found in the hands of street criminals of Chicago and the media blows it up before they realize it doesn’t follow their gun control agenda. But that is petty and I should go make sure I have complied with ALL my required government record keeping.

  • JAQUE BAUER August 26, 2016, 3:11 am


  • Will Drider August 25, 2016, 4:45 pm


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