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Guns of the Security Forces

According to, there's a new report out from Action on Armed Violence detailing all the small arms (nearly a million and a half of them) sent to arm and equip Afghan and Iraqi security forces since the war began in 2001.  The total value of these weapons, their “furniture”, and associated with them is somewhere north of $40 billion.

That's was a forty with a B.

Guns of the Security Forces

“Security forces” in this case is a somewhat nebulous term (and the weapons referred to are a vast array of types). Security Forces could be used to refer to regular military formations such as the ANA, local and government police units such as the Public Order Battalions (later subsumed into the Iraqi National Police), national constabulary type organizations (think Gendarmerie/Carabinieri) and mostly likely local and TCN (Third Country National) PMSC (Private Military or Security Company) personnel working to protect stabilization efforts. Interestingly, the AoAV report discrepancies associated with approximately 33% of the contracts involved in these procurements.


Italian Carabinieri train Iraqi National Police personnel (photo courtesy of NATO).

Says Matt Cox of's Kit Up,

“A total of 79 companies [were reportedly] recipients of these small arms-related contracts that include everything from battle rifles to optics to ammunition. Ten companies won contracts that combined were worth 65 percent of the total DoD published contracts. Here are the top 10:

  • Alliant Techsystems – $21,977,118,613 (101 contracts);
  • DRS Technologies Inc. – $3,251,224,478 (8 contracts);
  • BAE Systems Inc. – $2,761,670,581 (8 contracts);
  • Knight’s Armament Co. – $1,782,974,456 (15 contracts);
  • General Dynamics – $1,626,048,701 (36 contracts).
  • Colt’s Manufacturing Company – Total Value: $1,372,567,795
  • FN Herstal – Total Value: $995,194,319
  • Insight Technologies Inc. – Total Value: $790,071,945
  • Olin Corp – Total Value: $ 612,415,840
  • American Ordnance LLC. – Total Value: $483,022,354

The largest contract listed by the DoD was for the procurement of ammunition and for the operation and modernization of Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, a deal potentially valued at $8,480,000,000.”

Read more here on Kit Up!.

Cover photo via Twitter. Recent images purport to show U.S.-made weapons including small arms and mortars stolen by ISIS from Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan. A new report by a nonprofit Action on Armed Violence concludes the Pentagon since 2001 has awarded $40 billion worth of small-arms related contracts to arm Iraqi and Afghan security.

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