US Army failed to track $1bn arms transfer to Iraq and Kuwait, claims Amnesty International


The US Army has failed to monitor the transfer of arms and other military equipment worth more than $1bn to Iraq and Kuwait, Amnesty International reported citing a 2016 US Department of Defense (DoD) audit.

The declassified DoD audit was obtained by the human rights agency following freedom of information requests.

Amnesty International arms control and human rights researcher Patrick Wilcken said:  “This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region.”

The arms and military equipment transfers were carried out as part of the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF).

In 2015, the US Congress appropriated $1.6bn for ITEF to help combat the rise of ISIS.

"This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region."

The audit revealed records had not been properly kept at arms depots in Kuwait and Iraq, which could have resulted from errors made while equipment transfer information was manually entered into multiple spreadsheets and databases.

The US transferred tens of thousands of assault rifles, worth $28m, hundreds of mortar rounds and Humvee armoured vehicles for use by the central Iraqi Army, including Shi’a Popular Mobilisation Units, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

In response to the audit, the US military has committed to implement proper measures for tracking and monitoring future transfers to Iraq.

Amnesty is urging the US to stop the supply of most types of American military aid and training to foreign security, military and police units that could fuel atrocities.