A recent New York Times article by C.J. Chivers demonstrates the problems that come with a lack of regulation of military stockpiles. In a world that is categorized by military stockpiles and trying to have a bigger stick than the other guy, events like the one that occurred in this article present a serious threat on both domestic and international levels. Specifically, this article discussed an incident where a technician was killed inspecting scattered pieces of ammunition near a police compound in Libya where just three nights ago rival militias had fought for control over a stockpile of weapons located in the area. During the fighting, some of the containers were damaged which resulted in a large explosion that scattered the containers and weaponry across the area. The technician who died worked with the Danish Church Aid group and was inspecting and clearing the area when some of the weaponry exploded and caused his untimely demise.
Unfortunately, this incident is not an isolated one for the area by any accounts. These types of ammunition stores, once seen as a means for keeping the country safe, are scattered across the country and some are located directly alongside occupied homes, schools, churches, and roads. Such stockpiles include various weaponry including land mines, rockets, and other explosives complete with fuses and detonators. Such practice is beyond dangerous and is reckless beyond belief as they are poorly secured and located in populated areas. Not only is there concern of rival militias fighting over such stockpiles and the threat of accidental explosions, but such poorly secured storage areas are a gold mine for criminals, insurgents, and possibly even terrorist groups.
While international efforts have tried to take steps to solve the problem, the issue is compounded by the fact that international groups such as the United Nations have no idea how many weapons there are and where they are stored. The international community needs to get this information and aid the people of Libya in forming a more stable government that can effectively monitor and deal with this situation. If this issue is not resolved soon, it could have serious international repercussions if malicious groups take control of these unsecured stockpiles of destruction.