Gary Schmitt wrote on July 1, 2011, on NR Online that Western governments worries that Libyan government arms might be flowing to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Spain’s interior minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, has said:

There is arms trafficking at the border between Libya and Mali and this has to worry us because it could at this moment be supplying sophisticated weapons, which are therefore dangerous, to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

If we don’t do anything, AQIM could take advantage of this situation to grow, and if AQIM grows so will the risks faced by Europe and the United States.

There is also the possibility that the weapons going to AQIM are being sold by elements within Libya’s security forces because of a breakdown in control from Tripoli. In either case, weapons appear to be getting in the hands of some pretty dangerous folks.

This is just another reason why letting the military campaign against Gaddafi drag on—as the administration has—is such a problem. Common sense says that stirring up a hornets’ nest is a sure way to get stung. If you don’t want that to happen, it’s best to destroy it—and the sooner the better.

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