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.
U.S. Presidential Election 2020 - Candidate Positions
Quotes and other resources identifying positions of 11 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.
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. 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.
Alison Pytlak, "Cyber Security - A Team Sport" editorial, "News in Brief", and "A new 'Women in Cyber' fellowship has a big impact on the OEWG," Cyber Peace and Security Monitor, Vol. 1, No. 7, Reaching Critical Will, February 18, 2020.
Ray Acheson, "Impacts, not intentionality: the imperative of focusing on the effects of explosive weapons in a political declaration," Reaching Critical Will, February 14, 2020
Dan Mahanty+, “In Search of Answers: U.S. Military Investigations and Civilian Harm,” CIVIC and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, February 13, 2020
Kate Kizer, "Ilhan Omar Turns Progressive Foreign Policy Principles Into Action," The American Prospect, February 13, 2020
Mark Bromley, "A search for common ground: export controls on surveillance technology and the role of the EU," about:intel, February 12, 2020
Shannon Dick and Rachel Stohl, "U.S. Drone Policy: Transparency & Oversight," The Stimson Center, February 12, 2020
Allison Pytlak, “A whole lot of unpacking going on” editorial, ATT Monitor, Vol. 13, No. 2, Reaching Critical Will, February 11, 2020.
William Hartung, "Tomgram: William Hartung, Are Military-Funded Jobs a Key to Election 2020?," TomDispatch, February 11, 2020
Erin Hunt (overview), "New research project: How many women work in mine action?," Mines Action Canada, February 11, 2020.
Allison Pytlak, “Finding purpose” editorial, Cyber Peace & Security Monitor, Vol.1 No. 6, Reaching Critical Will, February 10, 2020.
Rachel Stohl, "The US Just Gave Greater Legitimacy to Landmines," Inkstick, February 10, 2020
Bonnie Docherty+, "Analysis of the Draft Elements of a Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas," Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, February 6, 2020.
Iain Overton, "Government Refuses to Reveal How Many RAF Bombs Failed to Explode as it would Harm Arms Trade Manufacturer’s ‘Trade Secrets’," Byline Times, February 5, 2020
Erin Hunt +, "Bernstein and Hunt: Canada must stand up to U.S. reversal on landmines," Ottawa Citizen, February 5, 2020
Mary Wareham, "US Should Think Again About Reversing Landmine Policy," Just Security, February 4, 2020.
Allison Pytlak+, "New Opportunities to Reduce Human Suffering" and "Implementing the CSP5 Decisions on Gender and Gender-Based Violence"; Ray Acheson, "The Lethal Connections Between the International Arms Trade and the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas," ATT Monitor Vol. 13, No. 1, Reaching Critical Will, February 3, 2020
Rachel Stohl (project lead), "The ATT Reporting Templates: Challenges and Recommendations," ATT-Baseline Assessment Project (ATT-BAP), January 2020.
A. Trevor Thrall +, "Trump extends travel ban to 6 countries — but is OK with selling arms to those same places," NBCNews, January 31, 2020.
Erin Hunt, "How Canada can eliminate lethal barriers to development," The Hill Times, January 30, 2020
Waleed Alhariri +, War’s Elusive End – The Yemen Annual Review 2019, Sana'a Center, January 30, 2020
Bonnie Docherty, "Humanitarian Disarmament’s Power and Potential at the Turn of the Decade," Humanitarian Disarmament, January 29, 2020
Adotei Akawei "New Arms Exports Rules Will Spread US Gun Violence Beyond Borders," The Globe Post, January 28, 2020
Anna Stavrianakis, "Britain must be held to account for its role in the war in Yemen," The Guardian, January 24, 2020.
Wim Zwijnenburg, "Black Gold Burning: In Search Of South Sudan’s Oil Pollution," Bellingcat, January 23, 2020
View the full list of recent and past publications featuring Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts.
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. Reaction as it comes in and information available on our new resource page.
U.S. Foreign Policy Moving Forward: Perspectives from the Middle East
The discussion will touch on a variety of topics, including the role of the United States in the major ongoing conflicts, the costs and consequences of United States arms sales to the region, and the question of whether or not the United States is in fact disengaging from the region or distancing itself from its traditional allies. Details and RSVP here.
2020 Annual Conference -
Missed the conference? Check out the video.
New FMS notifications: 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
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.