WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has shipped Afghan security forces tens of thousands of excessive AK-47 assault rifles and other weapons since 2004 and many have gone missing, raising concerns that they've fallen into the hands of Taliban or other insurgents.
John Sipko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said in a report released Monday that shoddy recordkeeping by the Defense Department, the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police has contributed to the failure to track the arms.
The Pentagon is still sending Afghanistan weapons based on its peak 2012 levels of army and police personnel, even as those numbers have declined, he said.
Congress has made the Pentagon responsible for tracking all U.S. small weapons and auxiliary equipment sent to Afghanistan, which have totaled 747,000 rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers and shotguns worth $626 million since 2004.
"However, controls over the accountability of small arms provided to the Afghanistan National Security Forces are insufficient," Sipko concluded in the report.