Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well, that's depressing...

In Libya, stockpiles of Russian-made surface to air missiles are being rapidly looted:
Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch first warned about the problem after a trip to Libya six months ago. He took pictures of pickup truckloads of the missiles being carted off during another trip just a few weeks ago. 
"I myself could have removed several hundred if I wanted to, and people can literally drive up with pickup trucks or even 18 wheelers and take away whatever they want," said Bouckaert, HRW's emergencies director. "Every time I arrive at one of these weapons facilities, the first thing we notice going missing is the surface-to-air missiles." 
The ease with which rebels and other unknown parties have snatched thousands of the missiles has raised alarms that the weapons could end up in the hands of al Qaeda, which is active in Libya.
Already, leaders in the US and the other parts of the world are warning of the possible dangers to airline flights. These missiles are mostly the kind we see in movies, where someone rests the launcher on their shoulder, then quickly destroys a tank, helicopter, or plane in the distance.

I guess there's some hope that different elements of the divergent rebel alliance in Libya has taken possession of many of these missiles, but I don't think there much reason to believe a full accounting will be possible anytime in the near future. Moreover--given the needs of people that will need to reassemble a country--the possibility of black market sales remains.

Keep your heads down.

Cheers, all.

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