Looks like the USA is once again in the business of arming those who hate us. The Christian Science Monitor reports:
The reopening of two key NATO supply routes last month not only eased the diplomatic tension between Pakistan and the United States, but benefited a third party as well: Pakistan’s black-market businesses.
Pakistan’s active black markets ... used to be flooded with US-made goods, from flak jackets to M-4 rifles, soda, and cigarettes. Then, a few months ago, the underground economy, which largely depends on the NATO supply trucks for supplies, dried up. The thousands of Pakistanis who depended on it for income and cheap supplies were hit hard.
“Our business had really gone down [due to closure of NATO supply routes]. But, thank God, things have been settled down, and we are going to reactivate our business,” an arms dealer from Quetta told the Monitor.
The arms dealer, who goes by the name “Kaka” (which means “older brother” in Pashtu), says he’s seen the prices of US-made weapons and other military equipment shoot up because they’ve become so difficult to get.
“Not only the M-4 rifle, but prices of other military equipment like communication devices, small pistols, night vision goggles, binoculars, caps, and flak jackets have also gone up,” says Kaka whose clientele includes both Taliban and anti-Taliban buyers – both of which prefer US-made equipment. With fewer goods to sell and higher prices for the equipment he does have in stock, there have been fewer buyers, and Kaka says it has been difficult to make ends meet the past few months.
However, prices – and thus business – are likely to normalize now that the two sides have inked an agreement to reopen routes, which are used to transport 70 percent of non-lethal NATO supplies into Afghanistan.
“Good days are back,” says a smiling Kaka, who wears a traditional Pashtun turban, his hair in long strands.
. . .
Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau, on the directives of the Supreme Court, recently initiated a probe to investigate how during the past five years hundreds of NATO containers, which began their journey from Karachi Port, never reached their destination.
And even supplies that do make it to their destination in Afghanistan are not immune. Mr. Sehgal says a good number of weapons are stolen from Afghan Army depots, where the Afghan National Army looks the other way.
These are then shipped to Pakistan where they can be sold and purchased easily.
There's more at the link.
Would someone please tell me why this isn't headline news in every major media outlet? Why have Americans been kept in ignorance - until now - of the fact that our tax dollars are subsidizing illegal black markets in US weaponry and accessories - that are then used by enemies to target our soldiers?
I suppose it's no good to say that we should terminate shipments to Afghanistan through Pakistan - there's no real alternative, as long as our military presence there remains so high. However, this is yet another very urgent argument for US withdrawal from Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Right now, terrorists are able to get their hands on some of our most militarily useful equipment, including items such as AN/PVS-14 night sights, etc. I'm sure our enemies appreciate our generosity in making it so easy for them to get their hands on the equipment they need to kill our troops!