Jared Mines Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

traffickers or entrepreneurs of his kind show concern for what ulterior purpose those munitions, Bout just provides the weapons and isolates all politics. For best results in arms deals, Bout would typically sell to both sides. Perhaps they could be used in the act of genocide or even to kill their own countrymen, Bout gives no heed to such things, he is simply a businessman who happens to sell weapons. He was just as willing to do business with Charles Taylor, the dictator of Liberia, as he was to do business with the United States. In one of several instances, immediately following the invasion of Iraq, Bout (among other contractors) was hired by the US military to assist with ...view middle of the document...

The military and the Department of Defense made plenty of transactions with him, while on the other end of the spectrum, the State Department and the Treasury were condemning him and trying to have him indicted in any way possible. This dissonance in the US government’s reactions highlights internal conflict and the lack of a unified stance did not help the situation. For the government to take proper action against arms trafficking, they have to discontinue their hold on the international weapons market. This action, however, would eliminate the ability to fight a wider amount of wars in a cost efficient way.
With the defense department and other US government branches attacking Bout publicly seeking indictment, one must also question the ethics of the United States in the international arms trade. The “War on Terror” has been justifying the US selling weapons and training militias in 90% of countries that are associated with harboring terrorists. Many would equate this to proximity warfare and something we saw in the Gulf War, when rebels that were supplied by the US with munitions turned around and started attacking the US. Those “rebels” were in fact the Taliban. Yet the US continues to irresponsibly supply insurgents simply because they are the enemies of our enemies. The US also puts up dictatorships and corrupt governments by supplying them with munitions. This is perhaps for interests in the region to keep the governments pro west and not have a democratic uprising that is disapproving of the west. According to a report from the Council for a Livable World’s Arms Trade Oversight Project, “[s]ince the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the world’s largest arms dealer … Consequently, governments with some of the worst human rights records [have] received American weapons and training.” Occasionally these arms deals are made clandestinely and quite typically to human rights violators. Between 1990 and 1999, the US has dispensed conventional weapons to 16 of the 18 nations on the US State Department list through government-to-government sales with use of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) programs, or with military assistance. Some of these arms recipients include Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. The risk of diffusion of these weapons to terrorist groups, rebels, or insurgents in these places are very high. The US military and the CIA have also trained the militias of many of the aforementioned 18 nations in US war tactics. Many of the members of these militias that were trained by US forces have now differed to terrorist organizations.
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