Some observers suggest the administration gradually shifted its attention from finding the missing manpads to the war in Syria and the nuclear deal with Iran. “There was a huge flurry about the missiles right after the fall of Qaddafi,” recalls Rachel Stohl, an expert on small arms at the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank. “Then it was quiet for about two years. When we began seeing evidence that the missiles were showing up in Mali and other countries, the buzz returned. But since then, it’s fallen off the radar because of other, higher priority issues. And that’s troubling. These weapons can cause catastrophic damage to a civilian or military aircraft, killing hundreds of people.”
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