Observers have known Islamic State terrorists have managed to get their hands on Iraqi equipment, but on Sunday, the Iraqi Prime Minister revealed the stunning numbers. “In the collapse of Mosul, we lost a lot of weapons… We lost 2,300 Humvees in Mosul alone,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told Iraqi state television.
Many of those Humvees were given to the Iraqis by the United States in an effort to bolster resistance towards terror groups. But ISIS ground soldiers stole the vehicles when Iraqi troops were overpowered and retreated.
Some experts believe that giving the Iraqis these vehicles, who then lose them, costs American taxpayers $579 million.
However, it now looks like the U.S.’s investment is costing more than just the price tag. ISIS is using those Humvees in spectacular suicide attacks, including one on Monday.
Last December, Congress approved a plan to replenish equipment the Iraqis had lost, including 175 tanks, worth $12.5 billion, 1000 new Humvees, machine guns, and grenade launchers.
This April, members of Congress became frustrated with the Iraqi security forces and the massive loss of taxpayer dollars spent on supporting them with ammunition, firearms, and military vehicles. So, the Armed Services Committee introduced a bill which would directly arm the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
The Kurds have been able to make more gains against ISIS, most notably in the key border city of Kobani, Syria. Many hope that the Kurds will be a much more reliable ally than the ISF and more responsibly use the arms that would be supplied.
However, only 25 percent of the $715 million authorized would be spent arming the Kurds. The rest will go to Baghdad, as President Obama and senior members of his administration have requested. It is the President’s policy not to arm minority groups in Iraq and instead focus on supplying al-Abadi’s government.
As a countermeasure to perceived Iraqi irresponsibility and incompetence, however, the bill stipulates that the Iraqi government needs to do a better job integrating minority groups, such as the Kurds, in their anti-ISIS strategy, or else the share of funding for the Peshmerga will increase to 60 percent.