Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Who Armed The Iraqi Insurgency?

The United States Did

crossposted from Your New Reality

This story confirms what has long been openly discussed for years amongst American, British and Australian soldiers who've served in Iraq, and come face to face with insurgents - that some insurgents were well-armed with American weapons, wearing American body armour and were being supplied with weapons and equipment given to the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police by the Americans.

But the arming of the insurgency and Shia death squads, and the trade of legally gained American weapons is utterly mind-boggling in its scope :

The US Government cannot account for 190,000 weapons issued to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, says the Government Accountability Office.

According to its July 31 report, the military “cannot fully account for about 110,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 80,000 pistols, 135,000 items of body armour and 115,000 helmets reported as issued to Iraqi forces”.

The weapons disappeared from records between June 2004 and September 2005, as the military struggled to rebuild the disbanded Iraqi forces from scratch amid increasing attacks from Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

Since 2004 the military “has not consistently collected supporting records confirming the dates the equipment was received, the quantities of equipment delivered, or the Iraqi units receiving the items,” the report said.

US commanders often accuse foreign powers such as Iran of supplying arms to illegal militias fighting in Iraq, but the report shows they cannot fully account for the hundreds thousands of weapons they brought in themselves.

Last month, Turkey raised concerns over reports that separatist Kurdish guerrillas launching cross-border raids from northern Iraq had received US-supplied guns supposedly destined for Iraqi security forces.

The US has spent $US19.2 billion (22.61 billion) on Iraq's security forces since the 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, with $US2.8 billion ($3.3 billion) devoted to equipping them.

Four years after the 2003 US-led invasion the country is beset by several overlapping conflicts, and Iraqi security forces, particularly the police, are widely believed to be infiltrated by rival militias.

US media claims that Sunni insurgents are now joining with American troops in greater numbers to fight 'Al Qaeda'. But there exists an even more dangerous, and deadly, major source of conflict in the making.

Now the Iraqi Army and police have been utterly infiltrated by Shia militias, and those same militias have 'cleansed' hundreds of towns and Baghdad neighbourhoods of Sunnis, the US fears they will find themselves caught between future massive fighting between rivalShia militias and long-feuding family and tribal groups. Many of whom now believe they can take all of Iraq's prizes for themselves, as the US appears to be moving closer to troop withdrawals in late 2008 as they run out troops to deploy and the Republicans face destruction in presidential elections.

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