How to Arm a Rebel Force (or not)

After the release of the book and eventual movie “Charlie Wilson’s War”, along with the movie “American Made” you would think that the citizens of the world would recognize that governments only bother to come up with the barest of cover stories when purchasing arms and supplying them to terrorists/jihadists/freedom fighters/moderate Muslims, or whatever.  After all, one man’s terrorist group is another man’s “freedom loving rebel” in Central America, or the Middle East, or various African countries.

Recently some journalists have been trying to create a scandal out of the United States supplying arms to groups in Syria, appropriate for a group named “Arms Watch.”

But…nobody cares. The former Soviet Satellite States manufacture arms and ammunition of decent quality, and as long as you don’t buy Chinese stuff and try to commit fraud by passing it off as Albanian, the way AEY enterprises of Florida did.

Despite the United Nations supposedly having some sort of interest in regulating the international arms trade, it takes a superpower to try to do anything about the “illicit trade” in arms.  Even then it may be slow to act, for instance this cable from 2009 didn’t seem to have any impact on the US blacklisting of Slobodan Tesic eight whole years later in 2017

But whatever. Arms from the former Soviet Satellite States shows up in Liberia, Lybia, Cameroon, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and various other nations. Sometimes the United States was involved in the purchase, transport, and distribution of said arms (Syria for example) and sometimes other governments were involved. Sometimes arms deals are done on the up and up, such as the Steyr 50 caliber sniper rifles sold to Iran (that ended up in the hands of insurgents in Iraq), and sometimes they are smuggled in defiance of sanctions.

But nobody cares. There is money to be made, and people like making money.  And even if they didn’t sell the old combloc munitions off, someone else would. China, for example, doesn’t give a crap about selling to whoever they feel like. North Korea deliberately works to violate the sanctions against it.

And every once in a while, it makes sense to know an arms dealer who can get their hands on a lot of old Soviet stuff quickly, in case we need to arm some freedom fighters.

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2 Responses to How to Arm a Rebel Force (or not)

  1. DW says:

    I am a little lost on this one. I am not clear on where you are going with this post or what your conclusion/position is?

    I agree with you that the world is awash with the sales of arms and money is the driver. I also agree that Russia & China will sell to anyone. That said I don’t think the US is any role-model either. The US will sell to anyone also, using some questionable “US interests” argument or some related BS justification, so there are no “good guys” as I see it.


    • rthtgnbs says:

      My point was that nobody cares if the US is buying Serbian arms and sending them to Syria. The mainstream media isn’t picking up the story of who in SOCOM is purchasing and transporting arms, and the information is out there.

      At this point everyone just seems to assume that arming rebel groups is something that big nations do as a routine piece of business.


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