ARMAMENTS: THE ARMS DEALERS: GUNS FOR ALL

In a cafe fronting Rio's Copacabana, a French bureaucrat from Aerospatiale, sipping Campari and soda on the rocks, extols the virtues of the Exocet missile to a cadre of entranced Brazilian admirals. In a Persian Gulf capital, a U.S. military attache prepares a top-secret memo listing the weaknesses of the host country's armed forces. In the lobby of a Zurich hotel, a trader who arranges sales of slightly used rifles and mortars —a "bedroom dealer" in the jargon of the trade—haggles softly with the representative of a Third World guerrilla movement.

All these men participate in what has become the...

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