Bringing out the big guns: An American-trained Iraqi paramilitary soldier wields an AK-47 near a Baghdad nursery school in 2004.
How exactly do some 190,000 pistols and AK-47 rifles go missing? That’s the mystery the Pentagon is facing, according to the Government Accountability Office, which estimates that the U.S. military can’t account for 30 percent of the arms given to Iraqi security forces to help “spread democracy” since 2004.
About $19.2bn has been spent by the US since 2003 on Iraqi security forces.
GAO, the investigative arm of the US Congress, said at least $2.8bn of this money was used to buy and deliver weapons and other equipment.
Correspondents say it is now feared many of the weapons are being used against US forces on the ground in Iraq.
The Iraqi interior ministry has blamed the Americans for the disappearance of the weapons.