FORA Politics

Season 2008 Episode 0109

Inside the World?s Largest Illegal Arms Network

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Inside the World?s Largest Illegal Arms Network
AIRED:
Stephen Braun discusses Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible.Before 9/11, Viktor Bout was America's number two transnational threat priority behind Osama bin Laden. Bout's vast enterprise of guns, planes, and money has fueled violence in Africa and aided both militants in Afghanistan and the American military in Iraq. While the world celebrated the end of the Cold War, Bout - and those like him - quietly built up a new, complex, and international arms network. With weapons factories starved for customers, Soviet-era transports lying idle and rusting, and dictators, warlords and insurgents throughout the world clamoring for arms, entrepreneurs, and organized criminals, such as Viktor Bout, saw fortunes to be made.In Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible, co-author Stephen Braun details how a small circle of US officials and international investigators have had little success in dismantling this transnational network which, he argues, has provided essential support to despots, insurgents, and terrorists around the world - World Affairs Council of Northern Californiamoreless
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