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Since the outbreak of fighting, U.S. officials have been concerned about the proliferation of weapons — especially Qaddafi’s shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles — and worried that small arms, ammunition, and explosives could be smuggled out of the country and fall into the hands of those planning terrorist attacks.

After months of NATO bombings, the challenge for the United States and its allies is to figure out how to help the rebels remake their country into a credible member of the international community. The international community will pressure the rebels to show how they will secure the remaining weapons depots under Qaddafi’s control and prevent infighting that could lead to an even longer civil war.

The U.S. is working with its allies and partners to help prevent the proliferation of these MANPADS, or man-portable air-defense systems, according to a State Department spokesperson who declined to speak on the record because of ongoing policy discussions.

Source: Sara Sorcher for The Atlantic.

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