The perils of arming local forces

In 2014, the Islamic State captured weapons from Syrian rebels armed by the United States. In 2015, the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia Kataib Hezbollah acquired several M1 Abrams tanks sold to the Iraqi Security Forces by the U.S. This problem has spread as far as Afghanistan, where much of the Taliban’s armory comes from American equipment given to the Afghan military and police.

How do the transfers occur?

“The Taliban gets its hands on most of the equipment, particularly vehicles, through raids, but there are quite a few reports of the Afghan military selling weapons,” said Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and editor of The Long War Journal. “The insurgents use this equipment tactically — to impersonate Afghan and Western soldiers. Considering how often they’re deploying it, they must have figured out a way to maintain the vehicles and weapons too.”

The title of the article is “How the US Is Indirectly Arming the Taliban” and the rest can be read at the Diplomat, here.

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