Posts Tagged ‘Middle East Unrest’

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

Ali Suleiman Aujali, the former Libyan ambassador to Washington and currently the U.S. representative of the Transitional National Council of the Libyan Republic, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post. Read it.