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May 20, 2009
Taliban may be armed with American ammunition

As 21,000 additional American troops begin to deploy throughout Afghanistan, the war to keep that country from falling back into Taliban control is presenting commanders on the ground with extraordinary challenges.

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that ammunition the U.S. provides to it allies in the Afghan army may be falling into the hands of the militants.

Rick Barton of the Center for Strategic and International Studies joins Martin Savidge to discuss how the Taliban is getting the ammunition and how the U.S. can prevent the diversion of its arms in the future.

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#1

The crux of the problem in Afghanistan is lack of security. Our forces are striving to accomplish their assigned mission but the U.S. Military and our allies can not provide more troops. We simply do not have enough forces to sustain the day to day operations in all fronts but specifically in Afghanistan. The fact that Afghanistan has been in war for so many years, brings and unique set of challenges, a country that is ruled by the tribal system, an unstable and corrupted government and military system to mention a few. The Afghan Theater of Operations remains undeveloped, limiting the possibilities to protect the distribution of strategic and tactical logistical assets to support the forces in CJOA.
Our forces can not cover all security demands in Afghanistan. The Taliban has been coming in and out of Afghanistan to conduct their attacks and re constitute their forces in Pakistan to conduct future attacks on logistics convoys, security outpost and small villages protected by small units. Accountability and transportation of logistics to remote locations are always slow and could be intercepted by roadside attacks. We need to enforce more strict rules over the Afghan government on accountability of combat equipment to include ammunition.
Our military has been trying to increase the production of the ammunition to cover the shortfall we had in 2004 and 2005, but at the same time we need to enforce accountability of items that could fall into enemy hands and be used against our forces. This accountability standard needs to be enforced over American Forces, the Afghan government and our allies.
South Korea and Israel are the only countries that can manufacture American ammunitions with in accordance to United Nations standards. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 U.S. war stock has been close to depletion and we had to rely on these two nations to assist us to meet the ammunition demand the War on Terrorism requires. The fact the Taliban is using ammunition manufactured by Americans/ Allies is due to several factors, however the way I see it are lack of security and accountability.

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