There isn’t enough attention payed to how ISIS & Al-Qaeda are getting their weapons & who they’re getting them from. You don’t have to be a general to know that if you want to stop paramilitary terrorism, you cut off the weapons supply lines. That’s “Counterinsurgency 101.” For a long time, it served deceit to say ISIS was armed by picking up US weapons, including Humvees & armored trucks, when they routed the Iraqi army who dropped their artillery when they fled. It isn’t mentioned how they routed them before they got the weapons. That was almost four years ago so it was time they cooked up another story to peddle.
Earlier this year, Amnesty International broke the story that the US army “lost track” of over $1 billion worth of arms & other military equipment. Amnesty was citing a 2016 US government audit by the Department of Defense which they obtained through the Freedom of Information system. Now a new study done by the Belgian research group Conflict Armament Research & funded by the European Union & German government has found that sophisticated weapons provided by the US to Syrian rebels “fell into the hands” of ISIS. The study couldn’t determine whether ISIS captured the weapons when they routed the rebels on the battlefield or whether the rebels sold or gave ISIS the weapons. A sophisticated US satellite surveillance system that allowed politicians in Washington DC to watch the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan & they don’t know what happened to over $1 billion dollars of weapons or how thousands of weapons transferred from CIA-backed rebel groups to ISIS?
Incompetence & mismanagement in the US military is not out of the question–especially since Trumpism has exposed the FBI, CIA, Congress, & Pentagon as a mafia coalition of degenerates, thieves, & criminals. But that isn’t the whole story. The Belgian study of 40,000 artillery items recovered from ISIS showed the majority of weapons used by ISIS since 2014 originated in China, Russia, & Eastern Europe. Well isn’t that interesting? The plot thickens. Clearly some of those countries bombing civilians in Syria & Iraq to defeat ISIS are also arming ISIS. It’s called playing both sides of the street, creating chaos, throwing up smoke screens because in so many ways arming ISIS facilitates the counter-revolution against the Arab Spring movements & democracy in the Middle East. That would make ISIS an ally of the counter-revolution, not the target of the bombers or the purpose of the wars.
The historic imperative remains: rebuild the international antiwar movement on a principled program, demanding the end of militarism & foreign intervention in any country under any guise for any reason.