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Accountability of weapons provided to Afghan National Security Forces

Release No: UNRELEASED Feb. 21, 2009 PRINT | E-MAIL

PRESS RELEASE

U.S. Forces Afghanistan

February 21, 2009

Release Number 20092102-01

Accountability of weapons provided to Afghan National Security Forces

The spokesperson for the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan stated today that the Afghan National Security Forces and CSTC-A have procedures to properly account for weapons provided to the ANSF.

From 2002 to August of 2007, weapons provided to the ANSF were accounted for by quantity. Since then, CSTC-A receives, registers, issues and accounts for all weapons by serial number, according to Lt. Col. Chris Kubik.

CSTC-A personnel assist and mentor their Afghan counterparts in proper weapons accountability procedures, verify compliance with Afghan ministerial decrees to report on weapons accountability, and report the results during monthly readiness reporting to the CSTC-A Commanding General. According to Kubik, for their part, the Afghan National Security Forces have demonstrated a commitment to properly account for weapons. The Ministries of Defense and Interior have formally established programs in place, with senior Ministry emphasis, to verify weapons accountability. In addition, said Kubik, Afghan Minister of Defense Wardak has verified proper documentation of weapons inventories by serial number in Afghan National Army Corps formations since late 2003, based on a long-standing tradition of weapons accountability.  The date also coincides with the beginning of the Defense Ministry’s reform.

In a recent Government Accountability Office audit of accountability of weapons provided by the United States and the international community to the ANSF, Afghan National Security Forces and CSTC-A personnel physically accounted for 296 of 330 weapons (90%) in a random sample, without full access to all areas in Afghanistan due to security. Kubik added, "I am confident that we have systems in place and are taking proper steps to ensure weapons accountability. Additionally, any speculation that significant numbers of weapons have fallen into enemy hands is not true."

CSTC-A leaders, trainers and mentors at every level continue to assess and adjust mechanisms and systems, in accordance with current policies and procedures, to ensure proper accountability of weapons.

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United States Forces Afghanistan’s mission, in coordination with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, is to conduct operations to defeat terrorist networks and insurgents by developing effective governance and building the Afghan National Security Force.  Effective security throughout the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan facilitates continued regional stability and increases economic development for the people of Afghanistan.

Contact Information - US Forces Afghanistan Public Affairs Office

Tel +93 (0) 799 51 2919 or cell phone 93 (0) 707 355 965

USFOR-A-MediaRelations@afghan.swa.army.mil