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.
New FMS notifications: May 28 - Kuwait $800 for 84 Patriot missile enhancement segments, $425 million for Patriot sustainment, $200 million for Patriot repair and return May 20 - Taiwan $180 million for heavy torpedoes May 8 - Hungary $230 million for air-to-air missiles May 7 - Egypt $2.3 billion to refurbish 43 Apache attack helicopters United Arab Emirates $556 million for 4,569 MRAP vehicles from Excess Defense Articles April 30 - Philippines $1.5 billion for Apache attack helicopters OR $450 million for AH-1Z attach helicopters April 23 - United Arab Emirates $150 million for spare helicopter parts April 14 - Morocco $62 million for Harpoon missiles April 13 - India $92 million for Harpoon missiles and $62 million for torpedoes April 10 - South Korea $675 million for F-35 support Netherlands - $40.55 million for 199 Excalibur guided artillery projectiles March 30 - South Korea $194 million F-16 upgrades March 4 - Poland $100 million for 180 Javelin missiles March 3 - Israel $2.4 billion for KC-46A aerial refueling aircraft Morocco
$239.35 million for 25 HERCULES or similar February 25 - Tunisia $325.8 million for four light attack aircraft and munitions Jordan $300 million for command, control and communications equipment Netherlands $85 million for torpedo conversion kits February 7 - India $1.867 billion for Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) Australia $990 million for long-range anti-ship mjssiles January 15 - Australia $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
Resource Page - Int'l Trade of Firearms & Ammunition: Move to Commerce Control
On January 17, the Federal Register put online final rules (Commerce, State), that were officially published on Jan. 23. Numerous states attorneys generals filed a case to block the rules.
On March 4, more than 20 organizations sent a letter to Congress opposing the policy. On March 6, a temporary injunction was issued barring the transfer of 3D printing plan regulation to Commerce (but not impacting the remainder of the rules). The broader rules have now come into effect (March 9).
See resource page for reactions and developments.
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 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).
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.
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.
Iain Overton, "'I Drove this Exact Truck' How the War on Terror Came Back to Haunt America,"' Byline Times, June 4, 2020
Doug Weir, "How does war damage the environment?" Conflict and Environment Observatory, June 4, 2020.
Waleed Alhariri+, "A Grave Road Ahead – The Yemen Review, May 2020," Sana'a Center, June 3, 2020.
Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, "Staying Safe & Documenting Abandoned or Mis-fired Riot Control Munitions," Mines Action Canada, June 3, 2020.
William Hartung, "Trump’s Saudi arms deals underscore dangers of runaway arms sales," Responsible Statecraft, June 2, 2020.
Ray Acheson, "COVID-19: Dismantling Structural Racism and Disarming, Demilitarising, and Defunding Police to Rebuild our Communities," Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, June 2, 2020.
Robert Muggah+, "Bolsonaro's end game," openDemocracy, June 2, 2020.
Nils Duquet+, “Illicit firearms trafficking in Europe during and after COVID-19”, Flemish Peace Institute, 2 June 2020.
Jodi Vittori, "A Weapons Epidemic," Diwan, Carnegie Middle East Center, June 1, 2020.
Jeff Abramson, "U.S. Arms Deals Continue During Pandemic," and "Lawmakers Press Esper on Landmine Policy, 'Arms Control Today, June 2020.
Iain Overton, "What is Missing in the Debate about Police Violence in the US,"' Byline Times, June 1, 2020
Doug Weir, "Time to move beyond Yemen’s SAFER oil tanker blame game," Conflict and Environment Observatory, June 1, 2020.
Ray Acheson, "UN Security Council discusses but fails to enact real protection of civilians," Reaching Critical Will, May 29, 2020.
Nicholas Marsh+, "Compounding Fragmentation: Security force assistance to fragile states in the Sahel and Horn of Africa," PRIO Paper, May 2020.
William Hartung, "No time to be selling arms to the Philippines," The Hill, May 28, 2020.
Wim Zwijnenburg+, "Exploring environmental harm from explosive weapons in populated areas," PAX, May 28, 2020.
Brittany Benowitz+, "How the U.N. Can Help Prevent the Spread of Proxy Conflicts," JustSecurity, May 27, 2020.
Elizabeth Minor, "Protecting civilians as an international policy agenda – A snapshot from 2019,' Article 36, May 27, 2020.
A. Trevor Thrall, Caroline Dorminey+, "Power, Profit, or Prudence? US Arms Sales since 9/11," Strategic Studies Quarterly, Volume 14, Issue 2, Summer 2020, May 27, 2020.
Josh Ruebner, "Congress is poised to pass far-reaching Israeli wish list," Mondoweiss, May 27, 2020.
Erin Hunt, "Digital Diplomacy Dos and Don'ts: A New Guide," Disarmament Dialogue blog, May 26, 2020.
Diana Ohlbaum, "The Afghanistan Exit Deal May Fail, The Withdrawal Shouldn't ," Inkstick, May 26, 2020.
N.R. Jenzen-Jones, "Menace or Myth? A Closer Look at the 'Cop-killer' 5.7 × 28 mm Cartridge," Research Report No. 9, Armament Research Services, May 26, 2020.
Josh Ruebner, "What another fired watchdog reveals about Trump's shady Saudi deals," The New Arab (Alaraby), May 23, 2020.
William Hartung, Christina Arabia+, "The Trump Effect: Trends in Major U.S. Arms Sales 2019," Security Assistance Monitor, May 21, 2020.
Brittany Benowitz+, "How States Supporting Armed Proxies Can Reduce Civilian Casualties and Protracted Hostilities," JustSecurity, May 20, 2020.
Mandy Smithberger+, "Congress needs to be more forceful in its response to Trump’s inspector general purges," Responsible Statecraft, May 20, 2020.
William Hartung, "U.S. Arms Sales and the Yemen War," New York Times letter to the editor, May 19, 2020.
Jeff Abramson, "Why are we continuing to sell arms to repressive regimes amid a pandemic?" Responsible Statecraft, May 15, 2020.
Ray Acheson, "Gender-Based Violence and the Arms Trade"; Allison Pytlak, "Are Arms Trade Treaty Meetings Being Used to Their Full Potential?"; Sam Perlo-Freeman, "The ATT and War Profiteering: the Case of the UK"; Deepayan Basu Ray, "Commentary: Making Sense of the World that the ATT and the SDGs Are Designed to ‘Fix’" in Global Responsibility to Protect, Brill, Volume 12 (2020): Issue 2 (May 2020).
Seth Binder, "Black Box: Military Budgets in the Arab World," Project on Middle East Democracy, May 12, 2020.
Brittany Benowitz+, "Why No One Ever Wins a Proxy War," JustSecurity, May 11, 2020.
Dan Mahanty+, "Grading DoDs Annual Civilian Casualties Report: 'Incomplete'," Just Security, May 7, 2020.
William Hartung+, "Record global military spending undermines human security," The Hill, May 7, 2020.
William Hartung, "Time to Rethink Security Aid to Egypt," Defense One, May 7, 2020.
William Hartung and Seth Binder, "U.S. Security Assistance to Egypt: Examining the Return on Investment," Project on Middle East Democracy and the Center for International Policy, May 6, 2020.
Ray Acheson, "COVID-19: Divest, Demilitarise, and Disarm," Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, May 5, 2020.
Mandy Smithberger, "Beware the Pentagon’s Pandemic Profiteers: Hasn’t the Military-Industrial Complex Taken Enough of Our Money?" TomDispatch, May 3, 2020.
Diana Ohlbaum, "Five ways to reset US foreign policy amid the COVID-19 crisis," Responsible Statecraft, May 1, 2020.
View the full list of recent and past publications featuring Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts.
In this period of increased social distancing and isolation in an effort to lessen the impact of the coronavirus, we share information about events that can be attended remotely featuring Forum-listed experts.
New events coming shortly
U.S. Landmine Policy
Changes to U.S. landmine policy to allow for greater use of the weapons were announced by the White House on Jan 31. UPDATE (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. (See here for expert commentary.) Reaction and information available - resource page.
Responding to Coronavirus
Resource page identifying countries that have mandated and/or seized control of defense industries to repurpose them in some way to address COVID-19 pandemic. To a lesser extent, page also identifies voluntary actions taken by defense industries. See resource.
U.S. Presidential Election 2020 - Candidate Positions
Quotes and other resources identifying positions of candidates for U.S. President on four key arms trade issues: Arms Trade Treaty; arms to Saudi-led coalition; firearms export oversight, and the Mine Ban Treaty. Will be expanded and updated regularly. See resource.
2020 Annual Conference -
Missed the conference? Check out the video.
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.
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other partners, listed experts, or resources produced by the Forum.
other partners, listed experts, or resources produced by the Forum.