UPI has a story on the arms spot market in Iraq:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 29 (UPI) — The U.S.-led coalition forces are losing a bidding war for sophisticated weapons still widely available in Iraq, nearly six months after the fall of Baghdad. Anti-occupation groups and supporters of the old regime are financially able and willing to spend more for weapons, a series of interviews with underground arms dealers by United Press International has determined.
Adding to the concern, private contractors involved in security consulting to companies operating in Iraq say the street prices for some weapons appear to be increasing, indicating weapons are being bought at a higher rate than previously during the occupation.
When I took Econ 101, the suggestion was that changes in either supply or demand could change prices…and so I’ll suggest that there are at least two alternative explanations – more buyers in the marketplace (which is bad for us) – or less weapons in the marketplace (which is good for us).
And as someone who has sold things once or twice, I always found that the “well, I’ve got another buyer for $50.00 more” argument was an effective one when dealing with someone with a fat wallet. There’s a quote from one of the arms merchants here that supports that:
“It’s too late to stop the trading,” Najeeb said. “There are too many hidden stores of weapons and people are dealing and trading freely. The Americans should pay more for the guns they want.”
But while Mikhael agrees that the rise in prices — an AK-47 that sold for $50 three weeks ago can now fetch $200-$300 — could be a harbinger of an impending offensive against the U.S. troops, Najeeb doesn’t think so.
“They just pay more for them,” he said of the illegal buyers.