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.” https://armswatch.com/us-task-force-smoking-gun-smuggles-weapons-to-syria-serbia-files-part-2/
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. https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/crime/article24553282.html
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 https://www.theguardian.com/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/239620 didn’t seem to have any impact on the US blacklisting of Slobodan Tesic eight whole years later in 2017 https://balkaninsight.com/2017/12/21/serbian-arms-dealer-slobodan-tesic-blacklisted-by-the-us-12-21-2017/https://balkaninsight.com/2017/12/21/serbian-arms-dealer-slobodan-tesic-blacklisted-by-the-us-12-21-2017/.
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.