Thousands of pieces of "advanced hardware" issued to U.S. military forces in Afghanistan ended up for sale on the Internet, according to a Pentagon report obtained by the Intercept.
Beginning in 2009, as many as 32,000 thermal optic imaging and night vision devices were reported missing from the federal defense's inventory. They were later discovered on a a "variety of websites," including Craigslist, eBay, texasguntalk.com and sportfishermen.com.
The Pentagon says they went missing because the units to whom they were assigned exercised "poor control." The items are "NOT for civilian use," and are controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
One of the items, the "OASYS-BAE Systems Universal Thermal Monocular," is the same name of a device that appeared for sale on eBay in December 2014. In addition, several thermal imaging devices are currently available on eBay and selling for about $10,000 each.
The Pentagon's report enlists the help of anyone with knowledge of their whereabouts, saying it would keep foreign entities from "exploiting" against the U.S. military, its NATO allies or civilian law enforcement, according to the Intercept.
The equipment in question was issued under a $750 million program called "RCOS/Keyhole," administered by the Navy and funded by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization to make it easier for troops to detect improvised explosive devices.
A 2012 Government Accountability Office report found there was inadequate oversight to JIEDDO's programs, under which more than $18 billion have been spent. Military.com reported earlier this month that JIEDDO was at risk of being scaled back and reorganized, but a spokesman later denied that as a possibility.
JIEDDO started in 2003 as way to "defeat IEDs as weapons of strategic influence" by terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. The counter-IED operation currently has a roster of 400 military and civilian personnel in addition to 700 contract workers, according to Military.com.
A spokesman for the Pentagon did not immediately respond to TheBlaze when asked for more details.
(H/T: The Intercept)
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