Libya's programme to acquire a nuclear weapons capability spanned just over three decades from the early 1970s to late 2003. While the programme waxed and waned in terms of the political continuity and technological momentum behind it, it was generally well financed, drawing on the country's oil wealth. By December 2003, the Gadhafi regime had succeeded in procuring from abroad most of the technical pieces of the 'nuclear-weapon jigsaw'. In this respect, the A.Q. Khan network presented itself as a major procurement opportunity from the second half of the 1990s, with Libya purchasing key equipment, materials and technology from this illicit one-stop shop. Nevertheless, by the time the regime chose to forego the pursuit of nuclear weapons, Libya had not proved capable of building on these acquisitions in any significant way. The regime was still confronted by major developmental problems in piecing together the nuclear-weapon jigsaw, owing to poor management and planning, the absence of a high-technology industrial base and a dearth of Libyan personnel with the requisite expertise and technical understanding. Moreover, while the A.Q. Khan network played a pivotal role in advancing the programme, it also put a brake on progress by not completely fulfilling Libya's requirements.