The tens of billions in weapons shipments the U.S. has frantically sent to Ukraine are fueling both terrorist aggressions and criminal acts around the world. Arms meant to fight off the Russian invasion are instead, with precious little oversight, finding a very profitable black market.
Efforts by concerned lawmakers to add accountability to the massive outflow of armaments were met with skepticism and ridicule. Perhaps that will change.
Now, multiple governments report that they are being flooded with new and advanced weapons being used for everything from revolutionary attacks to criminal enterprises.
In Africa, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari spoke to a Lake Chad Basin regional conference last week and warned of the dangers of highly armed terrorists.
He noted the “raging war in Ukraine” as a source of both weapons and fighters that have supplied the feared Boko Haram terrorist organization in the Lake Chad area. These militants now possess a fresh cache of small arms and light weapons meant for Kyiv.
Buhari also posted an urgent warning on the Nigerian presidency’s website saying that border security must be tightened due to the flow of arms that now “filter” into the nation from the Ukraine War.
As Europe and the US rush weapons to Ukraine to defend herself against Russia, care must be exercised to ensure that some of these weapons do not find their way to Africa to further fuel that continent's many military conflicts, Boko Haram, and ISIS in the Sahel.
— okn (@Kas_Nwuke) March 17, 2022
Pointing towards the “arms and ammunition” meant for other conflicts, Buhari said the region is now forced to work together for “enhanced collaboration” in the face of the empowered threat to their peace and security.
And it’s hardly just terrorists in Africa who benefit from the virtually unsupervised massive distribution of American weapons.
Finland’s national public broadcasting network, Yle News, reported that the National Bureau of Investigation has information that military arms, including assault rifles, intended for the Ukrainian resistance are instead being captured and diverted to the Scandinavian nation.
Critics have long noted the pipeline into Ukraine from the West is ripe for abuse due to the lack of appropriate tracking and monitoring.
If the U.S. and its Western allies are to continue to pour billions in armaments into Ukraine in an unaccountable fashion, more such proliferation of weapons into the wrong hands can be expected. Oversight of such a massive effort is both logical and necessary.