Since 2004, when the U.N. and U.S. removed an eighteen-year arms sanction, Libya has stockpiled weapons at a rate that far outpaced its military’s size or need. Arms have been sold to Libya at alarming rates — and for alarming profits — by countries throughout Europe. Most notably Italy, Malta, Germany and Russia. Those very same weapons are likely being used in a violent and deadly crackdown against protesters by the Gadhafi regime. The U.N. has now again imposed sanctions against the regime, halting the sale of weapons.
To discuss the mechanics behind the international flow of weapons to countries like Libya is Sergio Finardi, director of TransArms —a research center for the logistics of arms transfers.