Iraq:

U.S. Military Items Exported or Transferred to Iraq in the 1980s

NSIAD-94-98: Published: Feb 7, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed U.S. military items exported to Iraq since 1980, focusing on: (1) the U.S. policy regarding U.S. military and related equipment sales to Iraq; (2) whether U.S. arms were diverted from the Middle East and three other countries to Iraq; and (3) whether a shipment of U.S.-origin mortar bomb fuses was diverted from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Iraq.

GAO found that: (1) U.S. foreign trade policy prohibited commercial sales of defense items to Iraq except when the items were for the protection of the head of state; (2) the Department of Defense (DOD) has not made any foreign military sales to Iraq since 1967; (3) between 1985 and 1990, the Department of Commerce approved export licenses for dual-use items totalling $1.5 billion; (4) U.S. foreign trade policy did not limit sales of dual-use items through national security or foreign policy controls; (5) two countries transferred various U.S. military items to Iraq without U.S. approval; (6) three other Middle East countries proposed to serve as transshipment points for Iraq-bound military equipment, but the proposals were rejected by the Department of State; (7) it was unable to determine whether U.S.-origin mortar bomb fuses shipped to UAE were diverted to Iraq because of sovereign political sensitivities and its inability to conduct an on-site physical inspection; and (8) although the U.S. Embassy in UAE reported that the U.S.-origin mortar bomb fuses shipped to UAE were not diverted to Iraq, it needs to find an alternative method of verifying that the fuses remain in UAE possession.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The U.S. Embassy in UAE sent GAO a cable indicating that the fuses in question were fully and properly accounted for.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should direct the U.S. Ambassador in UAE to use an alternative method to physically verify that the fuses are still in UAE possession or obtain documentation to demonstrate that they have been used for the purpose for which they were provided.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The U.S. Embassy in UAE sent GAO a cable indicating that the fuses in question were fully and properly accounted for.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should provide written confirmation of this verification and documentation to GAO.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

 

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