Non state actors get their weapons from several sources: theft from government stockpiles, capture from the enemy, diversion, black market, and transfers from a foreign state. One thing is certain though, the State is the main arms supplier to non state actors, willingly or not, from its own territory or from abroad. The impacts of these acquisitions are real in terms of proliferation on the short and long term and at the national and regional levels, as the Libyan case recently highlighted. Proliferation in the hands of civilians, diversion to undesirable actors, human rights abuses: States must use caution when they consider arms transfers to non state actors.
04 November 2011