US Supplier Arms Afghan Forces With Ancient Ammo

22-year-old buys old Soviet-bloc munitions
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2008 9:13 AM CDT
US Supplier Arms Afghan Forces With Ancient Ammo
A new Afghan National Army recruit march during the graduation ceremony on the outskirts of Kabul. An unvetted company run by a 22-year-old has provided the Afghan army with worthless munitions.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The US military's main supplier for munitions to Afghanistan is an unvetted business run by a 22-year-old with no military experience and a string of domestic violence allegations, an investigation by the New York Times finds. And the tiny company's shady dealings with arms traffickers has left Afghan forces armed with obsolete, 40-year-old ammo.

AEY Inc., operating out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, won a $300-million contract last year; since then it has provided ammunition from the former Communist bloc seemingly bought on the black market. AEY has disbursed tens of millions of cartridges made in China in 1966, and more than 100 million aging rounds from Albania. Repeated inquiries by the Times recently led the US Army to suspend AEY's contract. (More Afghanistan stories.)

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