Merchant Of Death: Viktor Bout And UN Arms Embargo-Busting

The International Peace Institute held a launch and discussion of a new book by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes and the Man Who Makes War Possible.

 Merchant of Death provides a riveting account of the career of Viktor Bout, one of the world’s most sophisticated illicit arms traffickers and the crucial role that the United Nations has played in curtailing his activities. For almost two decades, Bout’s ability to supply weapons to armed groups in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and beyond has tested the efficacy of United Nations arms embargoes. But UN sanctions committees and experts have also played a crucial role in piecing together the information documenting his activities, and providing the basis for Member States to take restrictive measures against him. Merchant of Death provides a unique insight into how the efficacy of UN arms embargoes is tested by the ability of arms embargo-busters to organize transnationally and by the unwillingness and inability of Member States to enforce those embargoes.


Mr Douglas Farah, IBI Consultants

Mr. James Cockayne, Associate, International Peace Institute
Mr. Colby Goodman, Program Manager, Child Soldiers and Arms Transfers, Amnesty International USA

Dr. John Hirsch, Senior Advisor, International Peace Institute