MISFIRE: A big misfire is warranted for whoever it was that let U.S. Special Operations weaponry fall into the hands of the Talibanrecent propaganda video posted online by the Afghan insurgent group prominently featured a militant in a black headdress carrying an FN SCAR 7.62mm rifle, a weapon commonly issued to U.S. special operators, such as Marine Raiders and Army Rangers. A close look at other parts of the video shows the Taliban wielding other pieces of gear and accessories that are most-likely American made and purchased by the U.S. Defense Department. A spokesman for U.S. Central Command said he had no idea how that stuff fell into the hands of the enemy force in America’s longest war. A good bet is that the gear was at some point passed on to weak Afghans soldiers who abandon it when the Taliban attacked one of their many poorly defended checkpoints. Or some corrupt Afghan troops who sold it on the black market. Either way, it’s a misfire for which the blame is shared by many.

Medals & Misfires is a new opinion feature from the Military Times editorial staff. Medals signify a job well done. Misfires signify a major blunder.