Viktor Bout, the Russian arms trafficking suspect, arrived on US soil today to be prosecuted for illegally selling arms to some of the most nefarious strongmen and terrorist actors of modern times.
In this article for the Guardian, Brian Finlay, Senior Associate with the Stimson Center, writes that “while Victor Bout’s arrest in Thailand in 2008 and prospective lifetime incarceration is a win for US law enforcement, his capture is, at best, an anecdotal episode in the much larger narrative of an uncontrolled global gray market involving the trafficking of narcotics, small arms, humans, dual-use nuclear items and all manner of contraband from one corner of the globe to willing consumers in another.”
Finlay puts forth the view that a guards, guns, and gates approach will not suffice to overcome the momentous growth of the gray market. Nor is a rapid overhaul and harmonization of global export controls likely. Rather what is both imperative and plausible is a public-private partnership built on mutual benefit to prevent future Victor Bouts from flourishing in the globalized economy of the 21st century.
To read the full article, please click here.