Friday, September 30, 2011

20,000 ways to say I love you

I pointed out here a few weeks ago that thousands of weapons in Libya have gone from control  by the military to stolen and in the hands of jihadists.  Here is an update on that original story, with a few more details.

From The Daily Caller/Yahoo September 27 by Neil Munro

Free for all: Up to 20,000 anti-aircraft missiles stolen in Libya

A survey of weapon depots in Libya shows that up to 20,000 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles are now missing, partly because President Barack Obama has refused to send troops to guard the weapons depots, according to a left-of-center advocate.
“We were quite disappointed after talking to administration officials … that nothing more was done, even about the [storage] facilities in Tripoli, which are unsecured now,” said Peter Bouckaert, director of emergencies at left-of-centre group Human Rights Watch.
‘“The major impediment [to action] is that the administration doesn’t want ‘boots on the ground,’” he said.
“If these weapons get into the wrong hands, any civilian aircraft operating in the region will be threatened,” said Bouckaert, who has just returned from a visit to Libya.
The missing missiles are Russian-made SA-7s and SA-16s: Shoulder-launched missiles that can home into the hot exhaust trails from civilian and military jets. The SA-16 is only five feet long and weighs just 24 pounds.
A few of those types of missiles were used by al-Qaida’s allies in Iraq. Al-Qaida’s allies in Yemen have also showcased their possession of a number of the missiles.
In the last few weeks, Bouckaert said, administration officials have met to discuss the threat. “This has moved sharply up on Obama’s agenda,” partly because the administration-backed National Transitional Council can’t guard the weapons depots, he said.
“European intelligence agencies are also very concerned about these missiles, and they’ve been in contact with me,” he added. The European intelligence agencies “have a larger capacity on the ground [in Libya] because they’re not operating under the same restrictions that President Obama has placed himself in,” Bouckaert explained.
Obama sent aircraft and missiles to help the rebel tribes push back the heavily-armed army, but has consistently refused to send U.S ground troops to win land battle or to protect the fledgling democratic government once dictator Muammar Gaddafi fled the Libyan capital of Tripoli in August. When Obama announced the U.S. intervention on March 18, he was explicit: “The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya.”
Read it all

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