Follow us on social


Lawmakers ask Pentagon for answers on military equipment theft

A media investigation earlier this year found a proliferation of stolen arms and the military so far hasn’t been very forthcoming.

Analysis | Reporting | Military Industrial Complex

ThreeDemocratic House members sent a letter to Pentagon officials this week asking what is being done to prevent theft of military equipment. At least 1,900 military firearms were reportedly stolen from 2010 to 2019, with some having been used in violent crimes. 

The report by the Associated Press back in June details how U.S. military equipment, ranging from pistols to machine guns, is stolen or lost across the world. For example,  one Navy SEAL lost his pistol in a bar fight in Lebanon. But there is plenty of deadly equipment that is surfacing here in the United States — a box of armor-piercing grenades was recovered in an Atlanta backyard after it was stolen from an Army training in Philadelphia. Stolen guns have also wound up in robberies and the homes of gang members. 

Democrats Jamie Raskin (Md.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), and Robin Kelly (Ill.) want answers. “Given the epidemic of gun violence spreading across the United States, which has claimed more than 35,000 lives so far this year, we appreciate that Pentagon leadership is committed to addressing this challenge,” they say In their letter. But, they add,  “we are concerned that DOD has seemingly not yet developed a coherent strategy to improve its ability to account for military weapons and equipment.”

The Pentagon has so far resisted providing explanations on how military equipment gets stolen. 

In February, ten pounds of C4 plastic explosives vanished at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base in Southern California. Even though the explosives were recovered in June, the military offered no explanation. The equipment may have just been lost, but other cases show servicemembers are  profiting on gun trafficking. Indeed two years ago,a soldier at Fort Bragg stole over $2 million in equipment. The former Special Forces soldier was sentenced for 25 months in jail and a $250,000 fine.  

Seeing that the military is reluctant to acknowledge the amount of equipment stolen, the AP built its own database which found that the number of weapons disappeared has been undercounted. While talking to AP, Brig. Gen. Duane Miller (one of the top Army law enforcement officials) initially understated the number of missing guns by several hundreds. Guns also often vanish without a paper trail, making it impossible to register and investigate such disappearances. 

Aside from the possible impact on gun violence on American streets, the AP report is indicative of a larger trend of the Pentagon’s reluctance to be held accountable. Indeed, Congress had to force a financial audit on the Defense Department and it has never passed, largely because auditors couldn’t get enough records to make an assessment. 

Audits found mishaps like accidentally sending nuclear nose cones to Taiwan. They also found money laundering tactics aimed at keeping unspent money within the Pentagon instead of returning them to the Treasury Department — a move that veteran Pentagon staffers say is unconstitutional. 

Image: Grzegorz Pedzinski via
Analysis | Reporting | Military Industrial Complex
The Ukraine War at two years: By the numbers

KYIV, UKRAINE - July 12, 2023: Destroyed and burned Russian military tanks and parts of equipment are exhibited at the Mykhailivska square in Kyiv city centre. (Oleksandr Popenko/Shutterstock)

The Ukraine War at two years: By the numbers


Two years ago on Feb. 24, 2022, the world watched as Russian tanks rolled into the outskirts of Kyiv and missiles struck the capital city.

Contrary to initial predictions, Kyiv never fell, but the country today remains embroiled in conflict. The front line holds in the southeastern region of the country, with contested areas largely focused on the Russian-speaking Donbas and port cities around the Black Sea.

keep readingShow less
Navalny's death shouldn't close off talks with Putin

A woman lays flowers at the monument to the victims of political repressions following the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in Moscow, Russia February 16, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

Navalny's death shouldn't close off talks with Putin


President Biden was entirely correct in the first part of his judgment on the death of Alexei Navalny: “Putin is responsible, whether he ordered it, or he is responsible for the circumstances he put that man in.” Even if Navalny eventually died of “natural causes,” his previous poisoning, and the circumstances of his imprisonment, must obviously be considered as critical factors in his death.

For his tremendous courage in returning to Russia after his medical treatment in the West — knowing well the dangers that he faced — the memory of Navalny should be held in great honor. He joins the immense list of Russians who have died for their beliefs at the hands of the state. Public expressions of anger and disgust at the manner of his death are justified and correct.

keep readingShow less
Big US investors prop up the nuclear weapons industry

ProStockStudio via

Big US investors prop up the nuclear weapons industry

Military Industrial Complex

Nuclear weapons aren’t just a threat to human survival, they’re a multi-billion-dollar business supported by some of the biggest institutional investors in the U.S. according to new data released today by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and PAX, the largest peace organization in the Netherlands.

For the third year in a row, globally, the number of investors in nuclear weapons producers has fallen but the overall amount invested in these companies has increased, largely thanks to some of the biggest investment banks and funds in the U.S.

keep readingShow less

Israel-Gaza Crisis