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
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. 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.
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.
Press Briefing - Firearms Export Reform - March 5
Audio and additional information available here from briefing with Representatives Torres and McGovern and other experts on March 5.
Congressional Arms Trade Measures 2019
Tracking select legislation related to arms trade, security assistance, and military support. See resource page.
U.S. Conventional Arms Transfer Policy
Revised implementation fact sheet released on Nov 8 by the U.S. Department of State. Find it on our updated resource page.
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+, "An 'Emergency' Arms Deal: Will Congress Acquiesce in Another Blow to Its Authority?" Just Security, June 6, 2019.
Scott Paul, "End the arms sales, end the suffering," Oxfam's Politics of Poverty blog, June 6, 2019.
Frank Slijper+, "Controversial Arms Trade and investments of Dutch banks," Fair Bank Guide, June 6, 2019.
John Lindsay-Poland+, "Fact Sheet on U.S. Weapons Sales to Honduras," Stop US Arms to Mexico, June 4, 2019.
William Hartung, "Trump's 'Emergency' Sale to Saudi Arabia Must Not Stand," LobeLog, May 24, 2019.
Doug Weir, "The weaponisation of environmental information in the era of fake news," Conflict and Environment Observatory, May 16, 2019.
William Hartung, "It's Time To Stop Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia," LobeLog, May 15, 2019.
Kate Kizer, "Are you there McMaster? It's me, the American people." Inkstick, May 14, 2019.
Doug Weir, "A hazardous oil tanker has become a bargaining chip in the Yemen conflict," Conflict and Environment Observatory, May 16, 2019.
Frank Slijper+, "State of AI: Artificial intelligence, the military and increasingly autonomous weapons," PAX, released May 2019.
Seth Binder+, "The case for arms embargoes against uncooperative regimes," War on the Rocks, May 10, 2019.
Rachel Stohl+, "Leaving the Arms Trade Treaty would be another shot in America's foot," DefenseNews, May 10,
Rachel Stohl, "Trump Unsigns the Arms Trade Treaty: How Did We Get Here?" War on the Rocks, May 3,
Jeff Abramson +, "U.S. to Quit Arms Trade Treaty," and "Trump Vetoes Yemen War Powers Restraint Effort," Arms Control Today, May 2019.
Dan Mahanty +, "Protecting Civilians Still Matters in Great- Power Conflict," DefenseOne, May 3, 2019.
Dan Mahanty +, "The Pentagon's 2018 Civilian Casualties Report: What's In It and What's Next," Just Security, May 2, 2019.
Mary Wareham, "Why NZ should ban killer robots," RadioNZ, May 1, 2019.
Rachel Stohl, "Trump’s decision to leave a global arms treaty was built on an NRA lie," Washington Post, April 29,
Rachel Stohl +, "Trump’s Withdrawl from Arms Trade Treaty Could Reduce US Exports," Defense One, April 29, 2019.
Aude Fleurant +, "Trends in world military expenditure, 2018," SIPRI, April 2019.
Rachel Stohl, "U.S. exit from Arms Trade Treaty forfeits input on a global challenge," Axios, April 27, 2019.
Kate Kizer, "Congress Demands End to Yemen War: Now What?", Lobelog, April 10, 2019.
William Hartung and Christina Arabia, "Trends in Major U.S. Arms Sales in 2018: The Trump Record - Rhetoric Versus Reality," Center for International Policy, April 2019.
Iain Overton, "After Sri Lanka: the best books to understand modern terrorism," The Guardian, April 25, 2019.
Iain Overton, "The Price of Paradise," Quercus, April 2019.
Nils Duquet, "The 2018 EU SALW Strategy: Towards an Integrated and Comprehensive Approach," No. 62, EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Paper, April 2019.
View the full list of recent and past publications featuring Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts.
"Emergency" U.S. Sale to Saudi Arabia and UAE
Updated: On June 12, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on this issue.
On May 24, Secretary of State Pompeo confirmed that "I made a determination pursuant to section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act and directed the Department to complete immediately the formal notification of 22 pending arms transfers to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia totaling approximately $8.1 billion to deter Iranian aggression and build partner self-defense capacity." On June 5, a bipartisan group of Senators announced they would introduce 22 resolutions to block these sales. We will be updating this page as this story develops, featuring comments by Forum-listed experts.
New FMS notifications: May 31 -- Bulgaria 1.673 billion for F-16s and supplies May 24 "emergency" notifications-- Saudi Arabia 1.8 billion for $800 million for aircraft suppport, and $136 million for air surveillance system support United Arab Emirates $900 million for 24000+ precision rounds, $102 million for 300+ Javelin missiles, $100 million for Marine training of presidential gurard and $80 million for unmanned air vehicles May 16 - South Korea $313.9 million for SM-2 Block III B missiles Japan $317 million for Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) Canada $387 million for lightweight torpedoes May 9 - Qatar $3.0 billion for Apache helicopters May 3 - Bahrain $2.478 billion for Patriot missile systems and $750 million for weapons/bombs for F-16s, United Arab Emirates $2.728 billion for Patriot missile systems Czech Republic $800 million for 12 Black Hawk helicopters and $205 million for 4 AH-1Z attack helicopters April 15 - Taiwan $500 million for F-16 training April 9 - Japan $1.15 billion for 56 Standard Missile 3s April 2 - India $2.6 billion for 24 MH-60R helicopters see resource
Yemen War Powers Resolutions
UPDATED: Senate voted, but did not reach 2/3 majority to override veto (May 2). House approves Yemen War Powers resolution (the version from the Senate) on April 4, and President Trump issued a veto on April 16. On March 13, the Senate passed their version of the resolution, S. J. Res 7. On February 13, 2019, the House passed H.J. Res 37 "Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress." See resource.
New: US "Unsigns" Arms Trade Treaty
On April 26, 2019, President Trump told the audience at an National Rifle Association conference that he is directing the Senate to return the Arms Trade Treaty to him and that the United States will be revoking the effect of its signature to it. See experts comments and related resources.
"Arms Trade FAQ" videos
See transcripts and more details here.
Looking Ahead 2019
Forum-listed experts examine issues in 2019 related to weapons use, the arms trade, and security assistance.
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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.