Procurement: July 9, 2004

Archives

The fall of Saddam Husseins government last year had one little discussed side effect; it put thousands of additional weapons on the international black market. This is nothing new. When over a dozen communist governments collapsed in the late 1980s (culminating in the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991), millions of tons of weapons were suddenly available for sale. Most ended up as scrap, but millions of AK-47s, plus thousands of tanks, warplanes and warships, were snapped up at bargain prices, legally or illegally. Saddams arms stockpile was more extensive than anyone expected, with over 140 different locations holding at least 650,000 tons of weapons. Thousands of the smaller weapons were promptly stolen by Iraqis for personal use, and many more are being smuggled out of the country, to join the tens of millions of AK-47s and RPG-7 rocket launchers already on the market. The Middle East has always been a major customer for these two weapons, and many countries here are thought to hold millions of them (bought from Russia, China and other suppliers) in armories. So, while Saddam may be out of a job, the same cannot be said for many of the weapons he bought over the years. Saddams killing days may be over, but his weapons continue their deadly work.

 


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close