Moving Beyond Pandemic Arms Sales

24 Sep 2020


Moving Beyond Pandemic Arms Sales

DATE: September 24, 2020
TIME: 10:00-11:30 AM EDT

The United States routinely sells weapons to repressive regimes, at times against Congressional wishes and without sufficient transparency. These transfers have continued unabated during the COVID-19 crisis. While a recent report by the State Department's Office of the Inspector General indicated that 2019 emergency arms sales declarations for weapons going to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may not have been illegal, they did not adequately take into account likely harm to civilians and laid bare the limits of Congressional oversight. New normalized relations between Israel and regional Arab states -- the UAE and Bahrain -- could also result in increased weapons transfers to regimes that suppress their citizens and further risk regional violence.

The upcoming presidential and Congressional elections present an opportunity to consider how U.S. arms sales policy can be improved to better protect civilians, be more transparent and accountable. New reports with recommendations for Congress (from CIVIC and the Stimson Center) and examining arm sales to the Middle East (from the Center for International Policy) will be launched just before or soon after the event. Reports by Transparency International on corruption in the global arms trade and the impact of arms sales to the Middle East will also be discussed. Join authors of those studies in this timely conversation.


William Hartung, Director, Arms and Security Program, Center for International Policy
Daniel Mahanty, Director, US Program, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Jodi Vittori, U.S. Research and Policy Manager, Transparency International’s Defense and Security Program

Event Date: 
Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Sponsored By: 
Forum on the Arms Trade