A Peek at Arms Trafficking
Just in time for the weekend, a few items from the world of arms trafficking and production.
Colombia’s relatively effective anti-FARC campaign would be severely threatened should the group acquire SAMs (requisite historical precedent: the Afghan mujahidin). Kudos to the LA Times for not overdoing the tenuous Hezbollah link here.
UNODC is helping to set up a new anti-trafficking centre for the Gulf Cooperation Council, targeting flows of both arms and drugs. Based in Doha, the centre will target “various types of weapons and ordnance being smuggled out of Iran and the Russia-led CIS region moving via the GCC area – mainly through some of the UAE emirates – to Africa and through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon, as well as through a maritime shipping network active in the Mediterranean for delivery of weapons and explosives to North African and European countries.”
Sir Ronald Sanders, addressing the RCDS in London, warns that small Caribbean countries are overwhelmed with drug and crime problems that could be alleviated by US action on arms trafficking and sales.
OAO Izhmash, the Russian maker of AK-47s, faces possible bankruptcy — not because the guns are any less popular, but because of cheaper knockoffs from China and Eastern Europe. It’s sort of nice to see that globalisation can also be bad for the arms industry.