Secrecy News

Army Equipment Lost in Afghanistan (FOUO)

Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S. Army equipment and supplies in Afghanistan have been lost or are unaccounted for, a report from the Department of Defense Inspector General said.

“Since 2010, 309 forward operating bases [in Afghanistan] have closed and only a fraction of lost items from previous [inventory loss investigations] have been located. For example, between 2006 and 2010, there were 174,247 pieces of equipment listed as unaccounted for […], valued at $429.5 million…. As of May 30, 2014, only 40,690 (23 percent) of the total pieces of equipment and $191.1 million (44 percent) of the total dollar amount have been recovered,” the IG report said.

That paragraph in the report was marked “For Official Use Only,” as was the report as a whole.  Accordingly, the report has not been officially released to the public. (The findings of the report were previously reported by Bloomberg News).

The October 30 report is entitled “The Army Needs to Improve the Processes for Reporting Inventory Losses in Afghanistan.”

In the Department of Defense, “For Official Use Only” applies to unclassified records that may be exempt from mandatory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. It is not clear how the FOUO marking might be justified in this case.