Libyan Weapons Up and Vanish
An ABC News report recently revealed that thousands of highly dangerous surface-to-air missiles Libya posessed before the war “continue to be stolen from unguarded military warehouses.” The Libyan stockpile of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles was estimated to be around 20,000 before the uprising of the Libyan people. The US is seeking to expand a program dedicated to securing and destroying the stockpile lest the weapons fall into the wrong hands. However, US officials have admitted that “the government does not have a clear picture of how many missiles they’re trying to track down.” Over at The National Interest, Malou Innocent takes stock of the ABC report and notes:
The weapons free-for-all in Libya may or may not risk destabilizing the region, but it is reasonably safe to assume that had the U.S. and NATO not intervened, the Libyan conflict—along with its weapons—might have been self-contained.
Now, as confirmed by Carney and the White House in its mysterious “secret meeting” today, these missing weapons allow for an expanded U.S. presence. It should be evident to anyone that it won’t be easy to track these missiles down and retrieve them. But in keeping with the spirit of the mission, it seems officials will worry about the consequences of an expanded U.S. presence after extra forces have been deployed.
Image via flickr user Marion Doss