According to a report from the Defense Department inspector general, the Pentagon has lost a shocking $715.8 million in equipment and weapons in their fight against ISIS in the Middle East.
The shocking amount of waste was revealed due to an audit released to the public on Tuesday. The audit determined that officials working for the Special Operations Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve “did not maintain comprehensive lists of all equipment purchased and received” to help allies in Syria fight ISIS terrorists during the fiscal years of 2017 and 2018 because documentation was not properly accounted for in a centralized location.
Making matters worse, 1st Theater Sustainment Command officials “did not properly store or secure” the lost equipment and weapons according to the guidelines set out by the Pentagon. It was such a disaster that military officials “stored weapons outside in metal shipping containers, exposing the equipment to harsh environmental elements, such as heat and humidity.”
The bureaucratic gobbledygook within the report reads as follows: “Without accurate accountability records, such as inventory records and hand receipts, SOJTF-OIR personnel could order equipment that SOJTF-OIR already has in stock, risking unnecessary spending of CTEF-S funds and further overcrowding the BPC Kuwait warehouse resulting in equipment being stored outside.”
The incompetence of the military bureaucrats resulted in “thousands” of weapons as well as other gear “vulnerable to loss or theft.” It is very much possible that the gear and weapons ended up in enemy hands, as the military is unable to determine where the jeopardized material ultimately ended up.
“Without conducting consistent inventories and ensuring proper security for CTEF-S equipment, 1st TSC could not determine whether items were lost or stolen which could delay the initiation of an investigation,” the report stated.
This shows that President Trump has failed to drain the swamp, at least when it comes to the military-industrial complex. Before President Trump came into office, ISIS forces obtained military weapons from the U.S. government through a clandestine CIA program set up by former President Barack H. Obama.
“In summary, evidence collected by [Conflict Armament Research] indicates that the United States has repeatedly diverted EU-manufactured weapons and ammunition to opposition forces in the Syrian conflict,” an expert report that analyzed Obama’s weapons program claimed.
“[ISIS] forces rapidly gained custody of significant quantities of this material,” they added.
“Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties — notably the United States and Saudi Arabia — have indirectly allowed [ISIS] to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition,” the report claimed.
“In particular, the impact of the group’s acquisition of anti-armor weapons on
its operational capacity is difficult to quantify, but these weapons continue to pose a significant threat to coalition armored forces,” the group added.
Although President Trump ended that particular program (to his credit), the waste that remains in the military-industrial complex continues to make the world a much more dangerous place.