The Economics Of The Syrian Opposition

July 21, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

C. J. Chivers had the numbers related to what the economics of being a warrior fighting to overthrow the Syrian government were like:

  • The price of weapons have soared. It’s not possible to get a modern rifle for less than $2,000 and a PK machine gun can cost as much as $7,000 on the black market.
  • Ammunition is a constraining factor. It costs ~$2 per rifle round and guns such as the American M-16 are used as sticks because ammunition for them isn’t widely available.
  • As the rebels make gains it is likely that prices will drop. They will have the opportunity to take the weapons of the government’s soldiers.
  • Something similar happened in Libya where the rebels initially had to run into battle unarmed, planning to pick up the rifle of a fallen comrade because buying one’s own was too expensive. However as the rebels gained ground prices dropped.

To read more including how much it costs to arm three riflemen, a machine gunner, and a man with a rocket-propelled grenade (not counting ammunition), what rebels complain about, which weapons are successful, some more prices for various weapons, why the rebels don’t want the country to be like Somalia, and what will happen once the fighting stops, click here.

Source: New York Times

Via: Marginal Revolution