August 18, 2010: Even though there's a war on, the British Army is having a problem with soldiers stealing weapons and equipment and selling the stuff on the black market. Just about every nation has such a black market, which serves criminals, terrorists, collectors or, via eBay, the general public. Currently, the British are investigating fifteen cases of such theft. Many of these cases involve large quantities of gear, worth $100,000 or more.
While the British are appalled at such theft, the scale is much larger in other parts of the world. In Africa, the Middle East, Asia and East Europe the individual cases of theft often involve millions of dollars worth of material. Often senior officers are implicated, while nearly all the cases in Britain involve lower ranking enlisted troops. After the Cold War ended, the weapons and equipment theft in East Europe and Russia involved billions of dollars worth of military goods. Some of this is still going on, especially in Russia and places like Iraq and Afghanistan.