Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taliban using US arms - gun shows to blame

And by arms, they really mean cartridges; and by gun shows, well. . . .I made that part up.

In no particular order:
"Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers."
That's the whole thrust of this piece. The Taliban have been able to fight the US for eight years because a NYT reporter found some WOLF headstamped cartridges in 17 magazines. That's crack reporting. That's why reporters go to college. That's what makes them professionals.
The type of ammunition in question, 7.62x39 millimeter, colloquially known as “7.62 short,” [or "armor piercing/incendiary" "cop killer" "child piercing" death rounds, for the regular NYT readers - ed] is one of the world’s most abundant classes of military small-arms cartridges, and can come from dozens of potential suppliers.
So you found one of the world's most abundant cartridges in 17 AK magazines in Afghanistan, and that is worthy of this hysterical story? You guys must be desperate. I swear, it's like the guy was given a "Cartridges of the World" book by some Marine, and he read it on the john one day and got this wild-assed idea that he had now unlocked the secret codes on the headstamps of cartridge casings. I mean, what do you think:
The examination of the Taliban’s cartridges found telling signs of diversion: 17 of the magazines contained ammunition bearing either of two stamps: the word “WOLF” in uppercase letters, or the lowercase arrangement “bxn.”
Telling, you say? I must read more:
“WOLF” stamps mark ammunition from Wolf Performance Ammunition, a company in California that sells Russian-made cartridges to American gun owners. The company has also provided cartridges for Afghan soldiers and police officers, typically through middlemen. Its munitions can be found in Afghan government bunkers.
And US gun shows. Though it's not said, I get the feeling that this underwhelming bit of literature is stretching toward blaming the US for dozens of 7.62 Russian cartridges being found in Afghanistan. It's just gotta be our fault.

No wonder the NYT is struggling.
No similarly thorough accountability system exists for ammunition, which is harder to trace and more liquid than firearms, readily changing hands through corruption, illegal sales, theft, battlefield loss and other forms of diversion.
Meaning that the dozens of terrifying rounds could have come from anywhere, and that perhaps we should encourage the Afghan government to implement a comprehensive microstamping law. That will surely stop the clever Taliban from acquiring handfuls of ammunition in the future!
But military officials, arms analysts and dealers say it points to a worrisome possibility: With only spotty American and Afghan controls on the vast inventory of weapons and ammunition sent into Afghanistan during an eight-year conflict, poor discipline and outright corruption among Afghan forces may have helped insurgents stay supplied.
Finding a teeny tiny sampling of what is probably the most prolific rifle cartridge ever made is "worrisome," and is keeping highly trained reporters not only gainfully employed, but awake at night as well.

Oh, but there's more folks:
In the American ambush last month, all of the 10 captured rifles had factory stamps from China or Izhevsk, Russia. Those with date stamps had been manufactured in the 1960s and ’70s.

I'll be damned. You mean Mao Zedong and Leonid Brezhnev are behind this? I have been wondering for years how Russian AKs made their way into the country in the first place. This explains everything.

This is what passes for modern US journalism these days. To think major newspapers are just baffled as to why they're folding left and right. "Why isn't anyone reading our paper!?!?"

Good grief. I've already wasted enough of your time on this trash. Enjoy the rest of your day.


David said...

See, that right there is sad. Corruption means ammo can get into the wrong hands, but we're more than happy to write 'em a blank check? Feh.

Unknown said...

And think of all that ammo that we could be shooting here in the states!

Unknown said...

And think of all that ammo that we could be shooting here in the states!