Monday, August 6, 2007

Guns Gone Astray

It's become a cliche that the Bush Administration is so intent on vindicating the conservative belief that government is incompetent that it almost seems to screw things up deliberately. But really, this is too much. Of the 355,000 pistols and AK-47 rifles that the U.S. has distributed to Iraqi forces, 190,000 are missing, according to a new GAO report. Pentagon officials "really have no idea where they are." Hmmm, could they be in the hands of the insurgents who are fighting us?

I'm sure it's not easy keeping track of things amid the hubbub of war. But the GAO found no problems accounting for weapons distributed to the Bosnian Federation Army during the Bosnian conflict. So it's not impossible to do these things properly. But one has to believe that a government intent on proving that government is bad is more likely to do a bad job.

And by the way, who was in charge of security training during the period when, according to GAO, "distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures"? None other than Gen. David H. Petraeus, who's now in charge of the whole shooting match. Let's hope he's keeping better track of things now.

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