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.


Comments   

 
# paul conway 2009-04-04 16:53
Mr yon;
Interesting comment on the black market in military equipment. I wonder how much stolen military equipment,espec ially weapons and ammo, have been sold to the drug cartels. Over the years a good amount of miltary equipment has been stolen, particularily in the early 70s. You may remember the scandal in the late 80s over the extemely lax controls the 2d Ranger Bn had over its very generous ammunition allocation. One of the bn's supply sergeants was caught selling ammunition and grenades to biker gangs.
Human nature being what it is, people will give in to temptation especially if the money is good. No doubt some of the Mexican drug cartels weapons come from the US, if only because it is convenient to spend some of the proceeds of drug sales in the US on gun purchases in the US. Undoubtedly the cartel also buys weapons on the international black market. As you mentioned; all the shouting by various partisans in America obscures or does not address the real problem which is stopping the flow of whatever wepons are going into Mexico from the US and dealing with the insatiable demand for drugs in America. "Sealing" the border is a component of this but that is a comment for another time.
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