Sunday, July 20, 2008
Small Arms TraffickingC J Chivers reported in the NY Times this weekend on the continuing effort at the UN to get the world's arms suppliers to agree on measures to restrict the illicit flow of small arms to nations beset by ongoing violent conflicts.
Since 2001, United Nations members have endorsed a broad but loosely defined initiative, called the program of action, for a collective effort against illegal arms circulation. The agreement in part encourages governments to tighten controls on manufacturing, marking, tracing, brokering, exporting and stockpiling small arms and to cooperate to restrict illicit flows, particularly to regions perennially in armed conflict. It addresses hundreds of millions of weapons, ranging from pistols to shoulder-fired rockets, that the United Nations says are in circulation worldwide.However, more comprehensive, binding agreements have run into a roadbloack - in part from nations like China and Pakistan who flatly deny, against overwhelming contrary evidence, that their weapons ever get into the wrong hands, but also from the United States. Yeah - the United States.
Why does the United States have a problem with stopping shoulder-fired rockets and AK-47's from being sold to the FARC or Al Qaeda? You'd have to ask Wayne LaPierre and the NRA. The US gun lobby has blocked all efforts to move this program forward.
Are you ever embarrassed to be an American?
Of course, if we are getting back into the business of proxy wars, such an agreement could get in the way of our national security policy...
Technorati Tags: small arms trafficking, NRA, proxy wars
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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