Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Pentagon says it can track every weapon given to partner forces. It can't even track how many websites it has
Pentagon officials could be responsible for up to 50,000 publicly accessible websites, according to Stars & Stripes, which is both hilarious and extremely disturbing when you consider that this is the same Pentagon that once claimed it could keep track of every rifle fielded to partner forces in Syria.
Stars & Stripes' Chad Garland reports that acting Defense Media Activity chief Army Col. Paul Haverstick told a town hall of public affairs employees that the Pentagon runs an "undefined" family of websites estimated at "between 2,000 and 5,000" total, even though the DMA officially maintains around 825.
"There's just that many and we don't know where to begin," Haverstick said, per Garland. "It's an elephant and we're the size of a fly."
This, well, funny because it's frustratingly familiar, especially if you've ever had to find public affairs contact information on a U.S. military website (no offense guys!). But it's also deeply frustrating given that U.S. military officials once argued they could ensure that every piece of gear handed out to fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces would never accidentally end up in the hands of ISIS fighters!
To be clear: lol. A 2016 investigation into 14 years of Pentagon weapons contracts by the weapons proliferation non-profit Action on Armed Violence revealed that of the nearly 1.5 million firearms the Pentagon provided to security forces — including 978,000 M16 and M4 assault rifles — DoD officials only had records for around 700,000 weapons, or 48% of the total small arms detailed in open source U.S. government reports.
Previously, a 2014 report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that of the 474,823 weapons with serial numbers recorded in the Afghan National Security Forces' Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database (OVERLORD), 203,888 — a whopping 43% — had "missing information and/or duplication," making them near impossible to track.
And unfortunately, it's not like these missing guns are some small price to pay in the course of building up local security forces. A May 2018 Government Accountability Office assessment of the $4.1 billion Global Train and Equip found that in only 8 out of 21 training-and-equipping projects executed in 2016 and 2017 did partner nations experience an improved capacity, while " only some of the remaining 13 projects produced some positive results."
Websites are easy to track and inventory; firearms a little bit harder. If the DoD can't even bother keeping a close eye on the former, how are we ever to believe they can do so for the latter?
This is fine. Everything is fine.
Two people, including a U.S. Marine Corps member, were arrested over the weekend and accused of distributing drugs to service members and civilians in North Carolina.
It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.
A total of 12 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.
In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 10 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other two soldiers, one was attached to the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents from the Pentagon show that "far more taxpayer funds" were spent by the U.S. military on overnight stays at a Trump resort in Scotland than previously known, two Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday, as they demanded more evidence from the Defense Department as part of their investigation.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the heads of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee and one of it subcommittees said that while initial reports indicated that only one U.S. military crew had stayed at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort southeast of Glasgow, the Pentagon had now turned over data indicating "more than three dozen separate stays" since Trump moved into the White House.
QUANTICO, Va. -- Marines who spend much of their day lifting hefty ammunition or moving pallets full of gear could soon get a helping hand.
The Marine Corps is close to signing a deal to test an exoskeleton prototype that can help a single person move as much as several leathernecks combined.
The Air Force is working on a ‘flying car’ to replace the V-22 Osprey — and it could take flight sooner than you think
'Agility Prime' sounds like a revolutionary new video streaming service, or a parkour-themed workout regimen, or Transformers-inspired niche porno venture.
But no, it's the name of the Air Force's nascent effort to replace the V-22 Osprey with a militarized flying car — and it's set to take off sooner than you think.