The issue of arms proliferation is one of the main contemporary security threat issues the world is facing today. It involves the illicit production and misuse of all kinds of arms, small, light, and large. Illegal arms get into the hands of people of use them to kill thousands of people across the world. Arms can be smuggled from one country and used in a neighboring country to cause havoc and loss of lives. The international community is concerned with the issue of arms proliferation that has caused conflicts in various countries across the world. For instance, the international community has been concerned about the threat posed by North Korea due to its nuclear program (Thachuk, 2007). North Korea has threatened in several instances of attacking the south, an issue that has dragged the United States to ensure the South is protected from the threat the posed by the North (Williams, 2012).
Arms proliferation is an international security threat because it threatens the global security. The proliferation of nuclear weapons is an international security threat particularly the nuclear programs carried out by North Korea and Iran. The international community led by the United States is concerned over North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs that are believed to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Former US President George W. Bush reiterated that the US will not allow terrorists and the most dangerous regimes in the world to threaten the United States and its allies with the most destructive weapons in the world. Small arms and weapons are used in by terrorists to carry out attacks in other countries (ElBaradei, 2004). For example, the recent emergency of the Islamic State is an international security threat. The terror group operates in large parts of Syria and Iraq. It has been carrying out attacks on both governments using armed with heavy artillery. Similarly, Russia has been supplying large amount of arms to rebels in Eastern Ukraine, a move that has elicited conflict and instability in the region. In Syria, President Assad is believed to use chemical weapons of mass destruction to kill his own people. Several countries led by the United States threatened to attack Assad’s government. Such Weapons of Mass destruction can be used in other countries leading to a large scale loss of life. The rebels in Eastern Ukraine are believed to have used long-range missile launchers supplied by Russia that were used to hit a Malaysian plane killing 298 people onboard. This is evident that Arms proliferation is an international security threat.
Arms proliferation is a national security threat because of they can used to as weapons to kill other people or in tribal and community conflicts. For example, South Sudan has been witnessing tribal clashes which has led to the loss of lives of many people. Such tribal clashes are carried out by communities that have illegal arms. In 1994, the whole world witnessed as almost 1 million people were killed in Rwanda during the clashes between the two communities in the country, the Tutsi and the Hutu. Killers carried one of the largest genocide in human history using small and light arms such as AK-47 riffles. Liberia experienced a civil that lasted for more than a decade. The civil war was primarily fought using small arms and light weapons claimed the lives of more than 200000 people and also displaced almost a half of the population.
In addition, small arms and light weapons were used during the post-election violence that took place in 2008, in Kenya (Williams, 2012). More than 800 people were killed. This is evident that arms proliferation is a national security threat that needs to be addressed urgently by all the stakeholders involved in security matter of s given country. Arms proliferation is also a national security because it increases the rate of crime in a particular country (Schroeder, 2014). Small and light weapons are commonly used by robbers who attack other people or use them to carry out bank robberies. They increase the rate of crime in a country.
The US had been a target of terrorists groups such as Al-Qaeda and the recent one, ISIS. This terrorist group have increased the homeland security threat because of the fear that they might acquire weapons of mass destruction and use them to attack the US. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in 2001, biological weapons were used to attack the US such as the anthrax attack. In addition, criminal gangs and drug gangs possess a variety of dangerous weapons that are used to kill people within the US (Thachuk, 2007).
For several years, security strategies were only confined to national or community boundaries. However, the advent of submarines, airplanes, ballistic missiles, and weapons of mass destruction marked the end of the traditional border security by making borders easily porous and permitting the delivery of weapons to a remote location. In the 21st century, countries have formed blocs against others. Globalization has enabled such countries to sell each other weapons used in conflicts and also exchange knowledge of constructing weapons of mass destruction (Schroeder, 2014). Thus, globalization has enhanced Arms Proliferation as a security threat across the world.