Afghan Army to be Equipped with M16s
August 5, 2008
Wired’s DangerRoom is reporting that the Afghan Army is going to be equipped with M16 rifles. This is pretty strange since the Afghans always used Russian AK-47 rifles.
The article starts with a quote of an Col. Thomas McGrath, the commander of Afghan Regional Security Integration Command-South, about how the weapon is better and that the Afghan soldiers will learn discipline by using the M16. At the end the article gets to the real point: Its all about tracking the weapons to avoid that they fall into the enemy’s hand.
I can imagine that the Afghan Army has piles of AK-47s and everybody is trying to improve their pay on them. From the more officers selling whole truck loads of AKs to the peasant “loosing” his weapon. This problem indeed can be solved by providing a new kind of weapon with serial numbers and start to inventory them. And of course the Talibs probably don’t want M16s. The M16 is less reliable if not properly taken care off and the Talibs don’t have experience with them. In the Pakistan tribal areas there are a lot of weapon markets and small workshops repairing AKs and even building new weapons.
But of course this won’t stop the Taliban from getting more weapons. First of all we don’t know what happens to the existing weapons in the inventory of the Afghan Army and there are too many neighbouring countries selling directly to the Taliban or having Armies with poor soldiers and piles of untracked AKs.