U.S. Mistakes in Iraq Weapons Transfers Could Have Been Avoided

U.S. Mistakes in Iraq Weapons Transfers Could Have Been Avoided

Over the course of the Iraq war, a principal mission of the U.S. military effort has been to build, arm, and train Iraqi security forces capable of quelling internal violence and protecting Iraq from external threats. As with other elements of the Iraq war, this mission has not proceeded smoothly.

A number of governmental and media sources have recently highlighted the haphazard procedures and inadequate accountability standards the United States utilized to equip Iraqi soldiers and police officers with lethal firepower, shedding light on the often chaotic nature of the train-and-equip program. While most evidence remains uncorroborated or anecdotal, U.S.-supplied arms have reportedly turned up in the hands of insurgents, militia groups, private contractors, and criminals, some outside of Iraq. These lapses in accountability, particularly with regard to weapons transfers, could and should have been prevented.

A Rush to Arm

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