Procurement: The Balkan Connection

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July 17, 2008: Serbia, Albania and Bosnia have become major suppliers of infantry weapons to the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan. Serbia has been a long time supplier of weapons to Iraq, and the new government is not too bothered by that long association with Saddam Hussein. Serbia offers good prices, and a willingness to pay bribes and kickbacks to the right people, for Cold War surplus AK-47s. machine-guns, mortars, RPGs and the like. Albania and Bosnia, having large Moslem populations, play the religious card in their dealings with Afghanistan, and offer the same range of weapons, and payment options, as the Serbs. Several hundred thousand infantry weapons, and some larger systems, have been sold in this way over the past six years.