By Julie Ershadi - 08/08/12 07:53 PM EDT
The State Department-led task force was created in 2006 to help countries contain existing stockpiles and properly dispose of missiles no longer necessary for national defense. Shapiro said the task force was among “the types of interagency efforts necessary to effectively address transnational security threats,” including any that may arise from the conflict in Syria.
During the Libyan conflict, a “State Department MANPADS expert” was working on the ground in Benghazi while fighting had not yet subsided, Shapiro added. The department also deployed a “quick reaction force” to advise the Transitional National Council in preventing the proliferation of the weapons.