That Time the Pentagon Lost Track of $500 Million Worth of Weapons in Yemen


So this is part of the reason the Great American War Machine (coming soon to a country near you!) needs more taxpayer funding than allowed under sequestration rules: It keeps, er, losing track of its equipment. From the Wash Post (via the Twitter feed of Mike Hewlett):

The Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen, amid fears that the weaponry, aircraft and equipment is at risk of being seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.

With Yemen in turmoil and its government splintering, the Defense Department has lost its ability to monitor the whereabouts of small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles and other supplies donated by the United States. The situation has grown worse since the United States closed its embassy in Sanaa, the capital, last month and withdrew many of its military advisers.

Pictures of the missing stuff won't fit on milk cartons, so suffice it to say that if you've seen any of this stuff at your local terrorist training camp or al Qaeda community center, please call the Defense Department!

Washington Post

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  1. How can Iran and Al Qaeda possibly be a problem?

  2. Since when the fuck has the US military been using Glocks?!?!? Why the FUCK was I never issued one instead of that piece of shit Beretta?!?!?

    1. It’s from the Wapo, so they probably think ‘Glock’ is a generic term for any 9 mm, kind of like ‘Kleenex’ is a generic term for tissues.

  3. Wait, we’re giving fucking ISIS Glocks and I’m using a goddamned Beretta?

  4. Hueys? Are we cleaning out the boneyards?

  5. How long til some Yemenis take a cue from certain Somalis, fly a Jolly Roger over those patrol boats, and start pirating? Yarrrrrr

    1. I was thinking the same.

    2. 30 days ago? Maybe they will be clever and disguise themselves as “customs officials”…

  6. Shoot. A feller could have a pretty good time in New Vegas with that sort of stuff.

    1. (nodding aggressively)

  7. Looks like that Yemen policy is a winner!

  8. The Ghost of Smedley Butler rides on; quite possibly in a new Yemeni Humvee.

  9. If a gun dealer in the U.S. “lost” 200 Glocks and 200 M-4s (or AR-15s) I wonder what would happen?

  10. This the direct result of the govt of Yemen failing. What exactly is the statute of limitations on foreign military aid being the responsibility of the USG? Honest question…

    1. Steve,

      I think it’s the direct result of people in the U.S. government giving weapons and gear paid for by the U.S. citizenry to another government.

      Foreign governments collapse/are overthrown on occasion, and if the U.S. government hasn’t given them weapons and gear then obviously these things cannot fall into the hands of enemies.

      1. Looking at that list, i cant get upset about any of that garbage. Im going to go ahead and guess that there isnt a thing there that couldnt have been acquired easily via markets, black or otherwise.

        1. Yeah, that’s all pretty minor stuff – though it takes real talent to “lose track” of something the size of a CN-235.

        2. If criminals/foreign fighters obtain their weapons from the black market or other sources then my government isn’t responsible for arming them at the expense of its own citizenry.

      2. So you’re saying the gift of weapons caused the collapse of the Yemen govt?
        Trust me, like Hazel implies, Helen Keller could have seen collapse coming, BUT the equip was in the possession of the foreign govt. The DoD didn’t “lose” this equipment in Yemen.

        1. “So you’re saying the gift of weapons caused the collapse of the Yemen govt?”

          Of course not Steve, I’m pointing out that our government used our money to arm foreigners, and now those arms are in the hands of unintended recipients.

          The new owners would not have these things at our expense had not our government given them away.

          1. Well, …yeah, that’s a given. I guess I could accept a headline that the USG, through misplaced trust “lost” this equipment in Yemen, but the jabs about this being the Pentagon’s fault are somewhat baffling. (Disclaimer: I’m a DoD employee)

    2. Well, perhaps the US government might have anticipated the collapsed of the government….

  11. That’s a lot of fucking weapons, considering what ISIS is able to do with a few toyotas mounted with machine guns.

    The lesson should be that we can never be sure where our military aid to foreign governments is going to end up, especially when that aid goes to a less than stable government.

    1. Yes on all counts, Hazel.

  12. maybe the ATF can investigate this instead of trying to ban bullets for citizens?

    1. Ahem… That’s wacko.

  13. We need a state because of the military. No society can hope to survive without a centralized leviathan of a military lumbering around pissing away their money and making them less safe.

  14. Now that the shi-ites are firmly in control in yemen, they can ship the arms to Lebanon for an attack on Israel.

  15. The military did not lose these weapons, the state department (obama) did. the only military in Yemen were the embassy marines and they were ordered out.

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