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US Loses Track of Arms Given to Afghan Security Forces

FILE - An Afghan army soldier adjusts his weapon sling during a practice session at a training facility in the outskirts of Kabul.

A new U.S. government report says the military has not effectively kept track of the light weapons it supplied to Afghanistan’s army and police.

According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, an independent watchdog group, the failure creates a danger that small arms such as machine guns will fall into the hands of insurgents.

Its report found multiple databases maintained by the U.S. government missing information or with duplicate entries for weapons provided to Afghan forces.

For example, the IG's report found one instance in which 900 weapons said to be at the Afghan National Army's Central Supply Depot were actually not there.
The missing weapons in that case included 740 M16 rifles and 112 M23 pistols.

The watchdog group warned the problem could increase this year as plans to reduce the number of Afghan security forces are implemented.

Afghanistan is expected to reduce the size of its police and army from a current 335,000 to around 228,000 by 2017.