A new report from British MPs has revealed that the military has lost over $800 million in firearms and over $10 billion total in equipment, for which it has no records or ability to account.
The National Audit Office warned that the losses have “security as well as financial implications,” particularly for the weapons and hundreds of millions of dollars in radio equipment which have vanished.
The report is particularly damning in the face of British military griping that their budgets have been cut to the quick. Prime Minister David Cameron had argued for the cuts based on overruns in equipment costs, but it is likely he wasn’t aware how much of that spending was on equipment which simply vanished.
The report urged the Defense Ministry to move forward with a stock-control system that would keep track of where its equipment ends up. Perhaps the real story is that no such system was in place in the first place, leaving the location of equipment up to little more than pure luck.