Disarming Postwar Societies
DOI link for Disarming Postwar Societies
Disarming Postwar Societies book
This chapter focuses on conventional small-caliber weapons, other types of arms are of course also of great concern. Nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons, landmines, and heavy conventional weapons—tanks, jets, missiles, and warships—are a continuing threat to the economic and physical security of all nations. Destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles is proceeding, albeit slowly. Smaller conventional weapons—the focus of the chapter—have been responsible for most of the killing in recent decades during and after armed conflicts. Small arms violence can have fatal consequences for human development, disrupting already overstretched health care and education systems. Trade in secondhand arms began to flourish after the cold war, when armies in North America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union gave away much of their excess equipment to other countries or sold it at bargain rates. Some 643,000 small arms were stolen, many smuggled to ethnic Albanians in neighboring Kosovo and Macedonia, where fighting flared up later.