Massive amounts of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) have vanished from Libyan weapon stockpiles and flooded local markets to such a degree that prices for the illegal arms are actually dropping.
While international forces find the threat from these weapons credible, France has dispatched additional security to numerous civilian airports, it’s impossible to secure all the weapons before falling into dealers hands.
There is some good news, however, the chemical weapons and poison gas belonging to Qaddafi appear to be safe.
This isn’t the first time numerous or especially potent weapons have disappeared or gone unaccounted for.
From small-arms to nuclear bombs, nearly every kind of weapon you can think of has been lost by one nation or another.
More than 200,000 rifles and pistols and 250,000 pieces of body armour and helmets are unaccounted for in Iraq. The equipment, given by the United States to the Iraqi army, could be stolen, in the hands of insurgents, or still being used by the Iraqi army, but nobody knows for certain.
Former Russian National Security Adviser Aleksandr Lebed, in an interview with 60 Minutes in 1997, claimed that the USSR had produced 250 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs and that 100 of them were unaccounted for. His claims were denied or discounted by a number of other former USSR officials, but Lebed stood by them.
Less disputed is the fact that weapons-grade uranium and plutonium remain stockpiled in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, and Russian officials have broken up hundreds of smuggling rings surrounding the material since the dissolution of the USSR.
In 1999, a Pakistani Army patrol vanished in Kashmir. Afterwards, Pakistan accused India of using chemical weapons against their troops, but India asserted that it was the Pakistani patrol, in fact, who had the chemicals. Concerns about the security of Pakistani and Indian nuclear material has been a focus of the United States since both nations went nuclear, and Pakistan has accepted U.S. help in securing its resources.
When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s, the United States supplied the Aghani resistance, known as the Mujaheddin, with 'an overwhelming arsenal of guns and missiles' to fight back against the USSR.
Since then, some of these arms have fallen into the hands of the Taliban and insurgents currently fighting against the U.S., many of whom have ties to, or are the same, as the original men who fought against the Soviets.
Out of the thousands of SA-7 Man Portable defence Systems given to the Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua, some 1,000 have been destroyed, but others still remain in the country.
There have been security lapses in the past with the Nicaraguan stockpile, including sales to an arms broker in Guatemala, though it's unclear if any MANPADS have been sold.
Weapons in the Comoros, an archipelago of islands in Africa, were issued to the national army and then ultimately turned against the government before disappearing.
Though the number of weapons might seem small, in the scope of the islands' population it was enough to interfere with the stability of the government and draw attention from African Union troops.
Former CIA analyst Jonathan Scherck alleged in a book that China sold ballistic missiles and nuclear material to Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. covered up the deal because of the government's relationship with the oil-rich Saudis.
Though China's nuclear arsenal is far smaller than that of the U.S. or Russia, there have been concerns over their dealings with terrorists and rogue nations in terms of technology and nuclear resources.
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