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.
Resource Page - Int'l Trade of Firearms & Ammunition: Move to Commerce Control
BREAKING - On January 17, the Federal Register put online final rules, indicating that they would be officially published on Jan. 23.
The December 9 conference (and ultimately final) version of the National Defense Authorization Act did not retain the amendment that would prohibit changes to firearms export rules (see conference report). But on December 10, Senator Menendez again requested a hold be placed (see letter).
On February 4, 2019, Congress was notified of final rules to transfer of some items on US Munitions List (USML) categories I-III to the Commerce Control List (CCL), starting a 30-day review period. Legislation to block the change has now been introduced in both the Senate and the House and a hold placed delaying its implementation. A hearing on this topic is was held Tuesday, March 26, in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. On May 14, more than 100 organizations sent a letter to Congress opposing the changes.
On July 11, the House added an amendment (#10) to the NDAA, which would block these changes, by a vote of 225 to 205. On July 12, the House passed the full NDAA by a vote of 220 to 197, but the NDAA has since remained stalled in conference. The Senate version did not contain this provision. On October 24, 44 organizations delivered a letter calling for retention of this amendment in the NDAA, along with many others.
November 12, Congressional staff were briefed on Trump administration plans to move these rules forward.
The proposed rule was published on May 24 and closed for public comment on July 9, 2018.
See resource for concerns expressed and more information.
U.S. Presidential Election 2020 - Candidate Positions
Quotes and other resources identifying positions of 21 candidates for U.S. President on three key arms trade issues: Arms Trade Treaty; arms to Saudi-led coalition; firearms export oversight. Will be expanded and updated regularly. See resource.
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.
Mary Wareham, "As Killer Robots Loom, Demands Grow to Keep Humans in Control of Use of Force," Human Rights Watch, January 15, 2020.
Colby Goodman, "Holes In The Net: US Arms Export Control Gaps In Combatting Corruption," Transparency International Defence & Security Program, January 14, 2020.
Jeff Abramson, "Senator Refreshes Hold on Firearms Export Changes," Arms Control Today, January/February 2020.
Iain Overton, "Could Trump have Started a Terrible New Era for Suicide Bombers?" Byline Times, January 8, 2020.
Dan Gettinger, "The Soleimani killing and 5 things to know about drones in Iraq," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 7, 2020.
Matthew Bolton+, "Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament," Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
Matthew Bolton, "Imagining Disarmament, Enchanting International Relations," Palgrave Pivot, 2020.
Iain Overton+, "Explosive violence in 2019," AOAV, January 7, 2020.
N.R. Jenzen-Jones, 'Finnish 160 Ntkr Series High Explosive Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot (HEFSDS) Extended-range 160 mm Mortar Projectiles', Ordnance Society Journal, Volume 26 (December 2019).
Jennifer Erickson,"Punishing the violators? Arms embargoes and economic sanctions as tools of norm enforcement," Review of International Studies, vol. 46, no. 1, January 2020.
Mary Wareham, "Killer robots are not a fantasy. The world must reject and block these weapons." USA Today, December 30, 2019.
Jodi Vittori+, "A Mutual Extortion Racket: The Military Industrial Complex and US Foreign Policy – The Cases of Saudi Arabia & UAE," December 20, 2019.
Dan Mahanty+, "Hidden Gems: Civilian Casualties and Use of Force Reporting Provisions in the Annual Defense Bill," Just Security, December 17, 2019.
Anna Stavrianakis, "Requiem for Risk: Non-knowledge and Domination in the Governance of Weapons Circulation," International Political Sociology vol. 13, no. 4, December 16, 2019.
William Hartung, "Lessons From Battling the Pentagon for Four Decades," TomDispatch, December 15, 2019.
Allison Pytlak+, "Breaking Silos, Building Community," Cyber Peace and Security Monitor vol. 1, no. 5, Reaching Critical Will, December 9, 2019.
Mark Bromley+, "Detecting, investigating and prosecuting export control violations: European perspectives on key challenges and good practices," SIPRI, December 2019.
Aude Fleurant+, "The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2018," December 2019.
Dan Gettinger, "Turkey’s military drones: an export product that’s disrupting NATO," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, December 6, 2019.
Jeff Abramson, "Move Signaled for Firearm Exports Changes," Arms Control Today," December 4, 2019.
Nils Duquet, "Reviewing the EU Common Position on arms exports: whither EU arms transfer controls?," Flemish Peace Institute, December 3, 2019.
Allison Pytlak, "The Value of Multi-Stakeholderism," Cyber Peace and Security Monitor vol. 1, no. 4, December 2, 2019.
View the full list of recent and past publications featuring Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts.
Vote Now - Exemplary Media - 4th Quarter 2019
The Forum's quarterly poll highlighted reporting on arms trade, security assistance, and weapons use issues closes at 5PM EST on January 23. Vote now and spread the word to recognize exemplary reporting during Oct-Dec 2019.
What Do High Schoolers Have to Say About Arms Sales: Special Debate Event February 6 (Washingon DC)
Two teams of two students from local area urban schools will present a modified one-hour debate on reducing US arms sales. Afterwards, three policy professionals will offer a critique, before opening it up to the audience for questions and to the students to share how these issues are resonating with youth today. Details and RSVP here.
2020 Annual Conference -
Missed the conference? Check out the video.
Looking Ahead 2020
Posts to date include:
New FMS notifications: January 15 - $1.5 billion for Future Surface Combatant program January 9 - Singapore $2.75 billion for up to 12 F-35B fighter aircraft (4 firm orders) see resource
High School Debate '19-20
Check our resource page designed to help U.S. high school debate participants in the current national series focused on the arms trade.
"Arms Trade FAQ" videos
See transcripts and more details here.
in cooperation with our partner organizations and projects:
Partners are not responsible for the work of the Forum nor does partnership indicate agreement with or endorsement of the opinions of
other partners, listed experts, or resources produced by the Forum.
other partners, listed experts, or resources produced by the Forum.