Steve Coll makes the case against doing so.

Although not mentioned in this article, Coll has another relevant historical precedent to draw from. In his seminal work “Ghost Wars,” he wrote extensively about how the U.S. provided the mujahedin in Afghanistan with Stinger missiles and other weapons to level the playing field in their fight against the Soviets. According to Coll, the CIA gave between 2,000 and 2,500 missiles to the Afghan rebels during the course of the war.

After the Soviet withdrawal, “the CIA fretted that loose Stingers would be bought by terrorist groups or hostile governments such as Iran’s for use against American civilian passenger planes or military aircraft.” The Bush and Clinton administrations later authorized a highly secret missile buyback program, with each going between $80,000 and $150,000 a piece. The agency estimated that 600 of them were still at large in 1996 (Coll, Ghost Wars p. 11).   The CIA and the Obama administration would not want to see a replay of this scenario in Libya.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s