The Forum on the Arms Trade is a network of civil society experts and a point of contact for strengthening public efforts to address the humanitarian, economic and other implications of arms transfers, security assistance, and weapons use. Managed from Washington DC, the Forum provides a venue for bringing its community's wide-ranging expertise together to amplify and strengthen its work, while also offering government and media members a one-stop resource for the latest information, analysis, and best contacts. Forum-listed experts are located around the world and work on diverse topics including human rights, development, arms control, humanitarian disarmament, cybersecurity, arms and the environment, anti-corruption, and related fields.
Annual Conference - January 12
Leading Congressional and civil society voices joined in a virtual conversation on opportunities to develop a responsible U.S. arms transfer policy. Panelists include Representatives Ilhan Omar and Ted Lieu, Radhya al-Mutawakel, Brittany Benowitz, Sarah Holewinski, Rose Jackson, Dan Mahanty, Rachel Stohl, Íñigo Arredondo Vera, and Sarah Leah Whitson. Co-sponsored by the Arms Control Association, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy, and the Stimson Center.
Recent FMS notifications: December 29- Kuwait $4.0 billion for 24 Apache attack helicopters (16 remanufactured); $200 million for Patriot spare parts Saudi Arabia - $290 million for 3,000 small diameter bombs Egypt $104 million for head-of-state aircraft countermeasures; $65.6 million for advanced targeting pods December 22 - Kazakhstan $128.1 million for 2 King Air aircraft December 15 - Italy $500 million for Gulfstream aircraft upgrades December 7 - Taiwan $280 million for communications systems December 4 - Australia $132.2 million for ammunition and accessories December 1 - Croatia $757 million for 76 Bradley fighting vehicles and missiles Saudi Arabia $350 million for 5 years of training services Canada $275 million for C-17 sustainment Brazil $70 million for 22 lightweight torpedoes Lebanon $55.5 million for 300 high mobility vehicles South Korea $39 million for 2 Phalanx weapons systems and ammunition. Annual global total nearly $135 billion -- the highest amount this century (2000-2020) see resource
Video - Humanitarian Disarmament & COVID-19
Many Forum-listed experts are active on humanitarian disarmament campaigns. New video with voices from Afghanistan, Colombia and UN/NYC explains the importance of the humanitarian disarmament approach. For more resources, click here. (Video produced by Humanity & Inclusion, watch below.)
U.S. Presidential Election
Our tracker of positions taken by Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on four key issues: stopping arms supplies to Saudi Arabia, support for the Arms Trade Treaty, how oversight should be led on firearms exports, and the Mine Ban Treaty.
Resource Page - Int'l Trade of Firearms & Ammunition: Move to Commerce Control
Controversial changes that move export oversight on select firearms, including some assault weapons and sniper rifles, to the Commerce Department went into effect in March 2020..See resource page for concerns expressed and more information.
Highlighting publications in which Forum-listed experts were involved. Inclusion on the Forum on the Arms Trade expert list does not indicate agreement with or endorsement of the opinions of others.
Rachel Stohl, "Policy Recommendations for the New Administration: Improving U.S. Conventional Arms Policies," Arms Control Today, Jan/Feb 2021.
Jeff Abramson and Alex Bertschi Wrigley (emerging expert), "UAE Arms Sales Survive Senate Vote," Arms Control Today, Jan/Feb 2021.
Nina Lesikhina and Doug Weir, "Report finds that Russia securitises the environment - but on its terms," Conflict and Environment Observatory, January 20, 2021.
Annie Shiel, Seth Binder, Jeff Abramson, William Hartung, Rachel Stohl, Diana Ohlbaum, Adam Isacson, Brittany Benowitz and Dan Mahanty, "Toward A More Responsible US Arms Trade Policy: Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration," Just Security, January 19, 2021.
Andrew Feinstein and Paul Holden, "The Failure Of The Regulation Of The Global Arms Trade As A Consequence Of High-Level Conflicts Of Interest," Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall/Winter 2020.
William Hartung and Elias Yousif, "Biden should reverse Trump's bombs sales to Saudi Arabia," The Hill, January 17, 2021.
John Lindsay Poland and Arnie Alpert, "Opinion: Rochester and the state are now partners in gun violence," Seacoast Online (New Hampshire), January 17, 2021.
Doug Weir and Stavros Pantazopoulos, "Report: Canada's practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts," Conflict and Environment Observatory, January 14, 2021.
Sam Perlo Freeman, "Corruption in the arms trade;" Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, "From economic to strategic crisis: European military expenditure and procurement in the 2010s;" Aude Fleurant and Yannick Quéau, "The European Defence Industries;" Michael Klare and Andrew Tan, "Emerging technologies and the arms trade" in Research Handbook on the Arms Trade, edited by Andrew T.H. Tan, December 2020.
Wim Zwijnenburg, "Battlefields in 2020 Were Testing Grounds for New Drone Warfare," Vice, December 23, 2020.
Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta, "Inclusiveness: The Future of the New and Improved 'Normal'," Disarmament Dialogue blog, December 21, 2020.
William Hartung, "Pushing Billions in Arms Sales is Not An 'Accomplishment'," Defense One, December 19, 2020.
Lucie Béraud-Sudreau with many co-authors, "Emerging Suppliers in the Global Arms Trade,” SIPRI, December 2020.
View the full list of recent and past publications featuring Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts.
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Latest "This Week in Arms Trade Publications"
Click image above for the latest collection of publications by Forum-listed experts, and other updates on arms trade, security assistance and weapons use. Sign up to receive directly via email and check archived editions here.
Looking Ahead 2021
Expert analysis on issues in 2021 related to weapons use, the arms trade, and security assistance.
Jeff Abramson: Early Actions to Watch for a More Responsible U.S. Arms Trade Policy
Roy Isbister and Frank Slijper: Weapons for peace? What to expect in 2021 from the EU’s new ‘peace facility’
Wanda Muñoz: Victim Assistance: what we can expect in 2021
Sam Perlo-Freeman: "Judicial Review redux in the UK over sales to Saudi Arabia and Coalition'
New US Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
December 29 - Trump administration notifies Congress of the potential sale of 3,000 small diameter bombs (GBU-39) for $290 million,
December 23 - Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration has notified Congress of its intent to issue licenses for the sale of "7,500 precision-guided, air-to-ground munitions valued at $478 million to Saudi Arabia." See resource page.
US-UAE Arms Sales
On December 9, the Senate voted 46-50 on blocking MQ-9B sale and 47-49 on blocking F-35 sales, meaning that the resolutions of disapproval (77, 78) did not pass in the Senate. On November 10 the State Department notified Congress of the potential sale of more than $23 billion in weaponry to the United Arab Emirates, despite Congressional opposition. See our resource page for background on US-UAE arms sales and expert commentary.
U.S. Landmine Policy
On October 26, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines issued a new policy memo directed at the next president. Changes to U.S. landmine policy to allow for greater use of the weapons were announced by the White House on Jan 31. On May 6, More than 100 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Esper expressing disappointment in new U.S. landmine policy and seeking answers to questions on the justification for the reversal and future plans. The Defense Department replied on September 5. Reaction and information available - resource page.
"Arms Trade FAQ" videos
See transcripts and more details here.
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