Search This Blog

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is this a coincidence?

OK, so it has been widely reported that the US is missing a large number of assault rifles in Iraq:
The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.

The author of the report from the Government Accountability Office says U.S. military officials do not know what happened to 30 percent of the weapons the United States distributed to Iraqi forces from 2004 through early this year as part of an effort to train and equip the troops.
What if the U.S. does not care very much if the rifles disappear -- and end up in the hands of various insurgents?

Consider this: Phillip Killicoat of Oxford's Econ Department arrived an interesting finding in his recently completed World Bank Policy Research Working Paper called "Weaponomics: The Global Market for Assault Rifles" (warning: pdf). I read it in a short item in the Atlantic Monthly, October 2007 ("The Way of the Gun."):
Most surprisingly, the study cites research suggesting that having more arms in the marketplace makes running a counterinsurgency easier, presumably because it tends to fragment rebel groups: “The more easily individual combatants can obtain weapons through independent suppliers,” the author writes, “the more difficult it will be to mount and maintain a united and coordinated insurgency.”

Visit this blog's homepage.

No comments:

Post a Comment