Michael's Dispatches

Black Market

03 April 2009

I’m heading to Laos in a few hours and so comms likely will be tenuous.  Meanwhile, the war continues to unfold.  A reader sent the following story about the black market of war supplies in Pakistan.  I saw the same in Iraq.  Up in the Kurdish region, there are vibrant markets selling, for instance, AN PVS-14 night vision gear.  The same kind that most of the soldiers and I use in combat.  American uniforms are sold, and most anything else imaginable.  I recall seeing similar items, only Russian, being sold in Polish markets during the early 90s.  I bought a Russian night vision device.  It was terrible compared to ours.  There are also vibrant black markets outside of U.S. military bases in the United States.  This is not the end of the world.  Just another “thing.”

Vulnerable supply lines put US mission at risk

Six weeks after GlobalPost broke the story of stolen US military computers and hardware, the black market still thrives.

By Shahan Mufti - GlobalPost
ISLAMABAD — As President Obama sets in motion a new strategic initiative in Afghanistan and Pakistan,  supply lines remain vulnerable to attack and a black market is still thriving in stolen military hardware and computers.

As the U.S. begins a surge of 21,000 troops and military advisers in Afghanistan over the summer, the threat to supply lines and the stolen equipment could compromise the mission, military analysts say.

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