LOST BY THE GOVERNMENT: One Billion Dollars — and Maybe More?

On Sunday, May 30th, the Washington Post reported that the US had lost track of over ONE BILLION DOLLARS worth of equipment. It wouldn’t be the first time, nor will it be the last, that our government loses large amounts of “things”, for which they are responsible, and for which the American taxpayer shells out money…hard-earned money. The US Army lost hundreds of HUMVEE’s, tens of thousands of rifles, and other military equipment sent to Iraq. The report came from Amnesty International. All told, it ran ONE BILLION DOLLARS…your money, folks.

The arms and equipment transfers were a part of a program that initially appropriated $1.6 BILLION DOLLARS to help Iraqi forces combat the rise of the Islamic State. An audit found everything wrong…from improper records, duplicate spreadsheets to hand-written receipts. According to the agreement, once the equipment was turned over to the Iraqis, Washington and, in this case, the Pentagon had no further interest in it. Gee, with holes that big you could drive a tank through it and no one would notice, I suppose. In an area, that would be the muddled Middle East, where US weapons can be found in street vendors’ inventories, why do we find it surprising that things get lost? The answer there is that we DON’T find it surprising at all…and no one is responsible for anything apparently.

The audit went on to report that there was little or no record-keeping in the Iraqi government of any weapons or equipment that was, literally, given to them. Would you be surprised to find out that some of the best equipment was now in the hands of ISIS? I certainly would not be.

President Trump, for his part, has decided to arm the Kurds…and that may be too little too late, or it could be something else entirely. The Kurds seem to be a thorn in the side (or is that sides?) of both Turkey and Syria. Turkey regularly shells the Kurds and ISIS and doesn’t seem to really care who they hit. The Kurds have been fighting everybody just about because they want their own place in the sun. The EU has also called on Turkey to stop shelling Syrian territory and refrain from further complicating the efforts of world powers to halt the hostilities.

Over fourteen years the United States has supplied arms in the amount of 1.45 MILLION weapons and ammunition to “various” factions in the muddled Middle East. Nobody knows, for sure, who got this or that and it’s just part of the overall confusion (which translates to money down the toilet) in which the United States finds itself. If the lines could be accurately traced, it would show that all of the factions of the Kurds fight against the ISIS, BUT…Turkey is on both sides of the fence somehow. They like one group of the Kurds, the Kurdish Regional Government and the Peshmerga, but don’t like, and fight against, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PPK) and the Democratic Unity Party (YPG). So, in my not-so-humble opinion, Turkey plays one against the other AND at the same time, plays the United States for a fool. Maybe with Trump we’ll get something straightened out in that region…but I doubt it.

PARTING SHOT: Admittedly, my knowledge of the muddled Middle East comes from what my independent research digs up and, even then, it may not be the entire truth. Dealing with an enemy (ISIS) who prefers death to life, who wishes to bring the entire world back to the 7th Century, and whose holy book DEMANDS they lie to advance their cause, makes it difficult…maybe impossible to reconcile differences. Islam has been called a cancer on the body of the earth…and not just by me, although that’s a good description. If the cancer does not respond to medicine then it must be cut out and killed before it destroys the host body.

Image: CC0 Public Domain; https://pixabay.com/en/fall-hurricane-money-finance-163496/

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Larry Usoff

About the author, Larry Usoff: Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired. Articulate. Opinionated. Patriotic. Conservative. Cultured enough so that I can be taken almost anywhere. Makes no excuses for what I say or do, but takes responsibility for them. Duty. Honor. Country. E-mail me at: amafrog@att.net View all articles by Larry Usoff

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