Small arms proliferation relies on the basic principles of economics: supply, demand, and moving the goods between supplier and buyer. By arming the rebels, we’d furnish the supply side of the equation. During the conflict, the rebels, who are currently toting a wide range of weapons — many of which are older, difficult to find parts for, and require a range of ammunition sizes — can absorb this supply. When the civil war ends, however, the guns won’t disappear. The rebels would possess a surplus of weapons and, with their economy in shambles and many having gone weeks or months fighting instead of working, a need for quick cash.
Some weapons would move immediately; others would trickle out as security increased. Given that demand for guns remains high worldwide and especially in Libya’s regional neighborhood, the incentive to sell would be too high to resist for long.
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