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Monday, December 5, 2022

The Unintended Impacts of U.S. Weapons Supplied to Afghanistan | The Diplomat

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Weapons Loss by Coalition Forces in Afghanistan: Unintended Consequences.

Due to inadequate control and accountability of weaponry, the loss and leakage of U.S. equipment bolstered the Taliban’s troops. The massive weaponry, ammunition, and equipment supplied to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have resulted in unforeseen and undesirable consequences. These deficiencies are likely to have lasting security repercussions in the area. To minimize unintended consequences, one alternative would be to equip troops only if leaking can be stopped with confidence; but this is a particularly tough proposition in times of war. The events of August 2021 received extensive media coverage as a catastrophe for U.S. foreign policy and the humanitarian crisis.

However, we do not pay sufficient attention to the systematic and underlying problem of weapons diversion for over a decade. The magnitude of accountability oversights for weapons increased Taliban relocation, loss, and theft vulnerabilities. The U.S. Congress has allocated more than $88.3 billion in security aid to outfit and equip Afghan security forces to support stability and security as of December 31, 2020. According to 2014 estimates, at least 21 different nations have provided the ANDSF with $103 million worth of weaponry over the last decade.

Many of these might continue to circulate in the area for years through black market trades and other ways of diversion. Forty-three percent of the total serial numbers stored in a database, or 203,888 firearms, lacked information and were duplicated. In addition, the ANDSF’s high levels of corruption led to the abuse, loss, theft, and sale of weapons and ammunition. Between 2002 and 2019, the number of annual civilian fatalities in Afghanistan rose.

Source: https://thediplomat.com/2022/06/the-unintended-impacts-of-u-s-weapons-supplied-to-afghanistan/

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