For decades, Moammar Gadhafi stockpiled thousands of Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems.
Large mortar shells sit unguarded, and boxes that once held anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons are strewn about arms depots in Tripoli on Wednesday Sept.7, 2011. Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS
For decades, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi stockpiled thousands of Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS. By the time his regime collapsed in October 2011, Libya had accumulated the largest stockpile of MANPADS of any non-MANPAD producing country in the world. The collapse of the regime created a major proliferation challenge for the new Libyan government, the region, and the international community.
Recognizing the risk, the United States took immediate steps to mitigate the proliferation dangers. In April 2011, the U.S. began providing three million dollars in funding to non-governmental organizations that specialize in conventional weapons destruction and stockpile security. They began working with Libya’s Transitional National Council, or TNC, to clear unexploded ordnance and remnants of war and assisted the TNC in securing loose weapons, including MANPADS.