A Commemorative Day I Could Do Without

July 9th was the UN’s International Small Arms Destruction Day. Who knew?

From the UN’s press release:

In light of the International Small Arms Destruction Day, Kosovo destroyed over 1,700 small arms and light weapons (SALW) with support from the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Firearms and Explosives Risk Minimization (FERM) project. The objective was to raise awareness of the dangers of surplus, illegal and insufficiently secured weapons, and to increase the security and safety of people living in Kosovo.

The destruction was organized by the Kosovo Police and took place at Shkritorija, Janjevo. The arms that were destroyed were weapons that the police had confiscated during their crime investigation work.

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Kosovo, Mr. Skender Hyseni, and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Alessandra Roccasalvo were joined by the Deputy General Director of the Kosovo Police, Naim Rexha and Mr. Asllan Uka on a panel.

This destruction is an important element of Kosovo’s comprehensive Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Programme because it is an effective method of reducing the number of illegal weapons in the market, and reducing the potential supply of such weapons in the future. This destruction ensures that SALW will not find their way back into the illicit market and can thus build confidence in overall efforts to prevent, combat, and eradicate their illicit trade. It also contributes to decreasing the number of people who will face the similar hardships to Asllan Uka in the future.

The destruction of SALW was supported by the European Union, through the COUNCIL DECISION 2013/730/CFSP, dated 9 December 2013, in Support of SEESAC Disarmament and Arms Control Activities in South East Europe (EUSAC), in the framework of the EU Strategy to Combat the Illicit Accumulation and Trafficking of SALW and their Ammunition.

It seems the State Department stopped publicizing the day back in 2010 when Hillary Clinton was still Secretary of State. Back then, the State Department boasted that the United States had spent over $130 million to support the destruction of 1.4 million small arms and light weapons, 80,000 tons of munitions, and 32,000 ManPADS.

I’ll give them the ManPADS. However, doesn’t it make more economic sense to reuse some of that 80,000 tons of ammunition? I will acknowledge that some will be artillery shells but a lot of it probably was 7.62×39 ammo which could have either gone to our allies who use that round or be imported here as surplus ammo. Moreover, I would think many of the destroyed small arms could have been imported as parts kits.

Of course it made more economic sense but when has economic sense mattered to the United Nations or, for that matter, to the Obama Administration. It is the agenda and not the cost that matters.