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Did you ever wonder how all those AK-47s get into places like Afghanistan?

How A One-Time Pig Peddler Helped The U.S. Flood War Zones With Guns

The U.S. is famously the largest arms exporter in the world. Less well-known is that America also purchases massive amounts of foreign-made weapons, most of them manufactured in the former Soviet bloc. In an effort to build up and train friendly security services, the U.S. saturates some the most violent regions of the world with these arms but has little control over who ultimately gets them.

The Pentagon or U.S. intelligence agencies often issue contracts themselves for these weapons. But other times, American tax dollars go through a proxy, such as an Afghan government agency, which issues the contract but which is heavily funded and guided by the U.S. Dolarian was involved in both types of contracts.

While most coverage of the weapons trade tracks the multibillion-dollar deals in fighter jets, strategic missiles, or radar systems, most killing in modern wars is done with cheap rifles, machine guns, mortars, and other small arms.

Over the last decade, the U.S. has sent more than 700,000 weapons — the vast majority foreign-made small arms — to Afghanistan, where President Barack Obama has staked his strategy on training and arming the army and police. Likewise, in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, the U.S. disbanded the security forces only to rebuild and rearm new ones for eight years, sending over a million weapons by some estimates. The majority of these were Russian-designed small arms.

These are the types of arms that Dolarian, a man the state of California banned from selling certain financial securities, was given U.S. tax dollars to purchase.
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