The Associated Press quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the dangers that the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 illustrates in flights over unstable territory:

A much smaller weapon that poses a more immediate threat are the hundreds of thousands of portable missile systems in circulation called MANPADS, which can strike targets flying as high as 15,000 feet, Pike and others said.

High-altitude missiles are much more expensive than MANPADS, much larger and require greater technical expertise.

“You can train someone to use a MANPAD in a good afternoon,” said Peter Pham, director of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.

Read the full article here.

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