The World Awash in American Weapons
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There's a boom in both legal and illegal weapons sales worldwide. The
US is both the leading exporter and the leading target on the black
market. We hear what's being done to stem the illegal trade and to
help America's arms industry compete in the legal markets. Also, a
federal state of emergency as 17 fires rage out of control in southern
California, and Turks and Kurds on the Iraqi border. Can the US stop the violence from spreading?
Photo: Ceerwan Aziz-Pool/Getty Images
San Diego Still in Flames ()
At the request of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, President Bush has declared a federal state of emergency in seven southern California counties from Ventura to the Mexican border. At least 16 fires are burning out of control, and some 320,000 people are now evacuees. More than 1000 homes have been destroyed in San Diego County alone. Tony Perry reports from San Diego for the Los Angeles Times.
A World of Weapons ()
The United States is the largest exporter of weapons worldwide—as well as the world’s prime target for illegal arms deals. The Justice Department is battling 108 countries — including Iran and China — with full-fledged procurement networks on the black-market. At the same time, sanctions are being dropped to recruit new allies in the war on terror, and the US arms industry wants in on new legal action. Should regulations be relaxed so they can compete with foreign suppliers? Is increased violence inevitable for years to come? We hear how the illegal arms trade works and about the National Counter-Proliferation Initiative, which is designed to combat it.
- Douglas Farah: journalist
- Dean Boyd: Spokesman, Justice Department's National Security Division
- Rachel Stohl: Senior Analyst, Center for Defense Information
- John Douglas: President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association
Diplomatic Efforts to Defuse Turkish, Kurdish Rebels Conflict ()
The State Department says there's "a diplomatic full-court press" underway to prevent Turkey from launching a full-scale military assault against the PKK, the Kurdish rebels inside northern Iraq. It’s a tough call for all the players involved—Iraq's central government, the regional Kurkish regime—and US forces. Former Congressman Stephen Solarz, once a lobbyist for the Turkish government, says from Istanbul, "the countdown for a military move has begun" and it's "a matter of weeks, not months." That's according to Jonathan Landay, national security correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers.
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