Following the Taliban’s assumption of control in Afghanistan in August 2021, uncertainty has persisted about the scale, scope, and specific elements of the arsenal it captured from the previous regime. A new report from the Small Arms Survey, based on hitherto unpublished official data, provides the most refined picture to date of the arsenals captured by the Taliban.
The Small Arms Survey’s Peace Operations Data Set (PODS) documents attacks on peacekeepers and other incidents resulting in the loss of arms and ammunition. It is intended to support the development of effective checks and balances to enhance weapons and ammunition management (WAM) practices in peace operations and to promote the development of good practice.
'On 4 August 2022 a series of explosions tore through a munitions store and its surroundings in the Grunewald forest west of Berlin, Germany, starting a blaze the city's fire department described as its toughest operation since the Second World War.
The Caribbean region suffers from some of the world’s highest rates of violent deaths, at almost three times the global average, as well as one of the world’s highest rates of violent deaths among women. Firearms are used in more than half of all homicides, with this proportion reaching 90 per cent in some countries. While much emphasis has been placed on firearms control at both the political and operational levels, illicit firearms, and the dynamics of illicit arms markets in this region have received little research attention.
This event, recorded on 14 February 2023, took place as the Open-ended Working Group on Conventional Ammunition met for its third substantive session to discuss a new Global Framework for Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management.
'Despite an unprecedented global campaign to curtail the illicit proliferation of man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), armed groups continue to acquire and use these weapons at an alarming rate. The Small Arms Survey has identified reports of illicit MANPADS in 32 countries and territories on five continents since 2011. These reports include imagery of dozens of advanced (third and fourth generation) systems acquired by non-state actors ranging from pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine to ethnic armed groups in Myanmar.
As part of the Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction (RASR) Initiative, the Small Arms Survey launched the Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) Best Practice cards, which are designed to promote better understanding of the importance of stockpile management.
Check out also our other sets of playing cards:
636 incidents of Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) took place between 1979 and December 2021, resulting in 30,883 casualties (deaths and injuries), reveals the newest update of the Small Arms Survey UEMS database. The database tracks the frequency and destructive impact of UEMS incidents—defined as the accidental explosion of abandoned, damaged, improperly stored, or properly stored stockpiles of ammunition and explosives at munitions sites.
The increasingly sophisticated arsenals of guided light weapons held by non-state actors pose an international security threat. These include man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) and anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs)—systems operable by a single user or a small crew, where the weapons’ missiles are either manually targeted or self-guided after launch. Such systems have been used by armed groups to attack commercial airlines, military aircraft, and governmental targets, as well as to degrade military and peacekeeping operations.
This blog post was published as part of the Global Partnership on Small Arms project, which was managed by the Small Arms Survey and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
The Global Partnership on Small Arms was a platform where stakeholders engaged in reducing or preventing illicit arms trafficking were able to interact; exchange information, experience, and knowledge; and give feedback to further their shared goals.