The Forum on the Arms Trade is an information clearing-house, forum, and point of contact for strengthening efforts to address the economic, humanitarian and security implications of legal, illicit, and illegal arms transfers, as well as related topics of security assistance and weapons use.
Experts release new reports*
During the May 19 Forum on the Arms Trade-sponsored media telebriefing, Cole Bockenfeld (Project on Middle East Democracy) previewed POMED's report "The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East" (released May 20). Bockenfeld was joined by colleague Todd Ruffner, a Forum-listed Emerging Expert, in discussing U.S. funding and assistance for democracy and governance in the Middle East, the congressional appropriations process, and implications for U.S. policy in the region during a turbulent time.
Today (June 1), the Small Arms Survey releasesSmall Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World, featuring two chapters co-authored by Paul Holtom (Coventry University): "Trade Update: After the Arab Spring" and "Stockpiles at Sea: Floating armouries in the Indian Ocean."
On June 3, Nils Duquet (Flemish Peace Institute) will co-organize and participate in a side event on gun violence during the Program of Action's Meeting of Governmental Experts at the United Nations in New York City. There, he will preview findings of the new report "Firearms and violent deaths in Europe: an exploratory analysis on the linkages between gun possession, firearms legislation and violent death," which will officially be launched later this month in Brussels.
* Reports were authored or co-authored by Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts. Inclusion here does not indicate endorsement of or by the Forum nor the institutions cited. See more details.
Expert Spotlight: William Hartung
William Hartung(Center for International Policy) has long followed U.S. arms sales. His May 14 analysis of Washington's arms transfers to the Middle East, "It's Not Diplomacy, It's An Arms Fair," was selected as Foreign Policy's article of the day and has drawn considerable press attention, including articles in the Christian Science Monitor, Vocativ.com and Middle East Eye. His comments on the topic have also been featured in radio interviews on Sirius-XM radio's "Morning Briefing," Free Speech Radio News, KPFA-FM in Berkeley (California), WGDH-FM in Vermont, and "The Monitor" on KPFT-FM in Houston (Texas).
Media Spotlight: C.J. Chivers
C.J. Chivers reports for the New York Times, where he works on the Investigations Desk and for the New York Times Magazine. For many years, he has traveled to and carefully identified weapons found in conflict zones, writing insightfully about the arms trade and its effects. Recently, he looked at where the Islamic State acquired its weapons, building in part on research previewed at the Forum-Stimson co-sponsored April 7 event.
A former U.S. Marine and author of The Gun, Chivers will talk about MANPADS in the Middle East at an event in Washington DC June 10. When asked about the importance of the investigative work he does, Chivers said, "I became interested years ago in trying to identity and trace the important physical tools of organized violence. This seemed essential to gaining a richer understanding of how people are harmed, societies disrupted and property destroyed -- and perhaps even in establishing accountability for the terrible damage that is inevitable in armed conflict. It was an area of war coverage that was underserved, so seemed worthy of more labor."
The "Media Spotlight" highlights journalists who are thoughtfully reporting on topics addressed by the Forum on the Arms Trade. Selection does not indicate agreement with or endorsement of the journalist's views, the Forum, or Forum-listed experts.
Looking Ahead - The technology of research
In his May 29 Looking Aheadblog post, Nicholas Marsh (Peace Research Institute Oslo, PRIO) discusses the arms trade and "where the need remains to develop new technologies of research, without forgetting the contributions of written sources, databases, social media, and fieldwork."
The Forum solicits comments on this thought-provoking entry.
Experts in Action
"Experts in Action" features recent writings and media citations, as well as upcoming public presentations, by individuals listed as experts* by the Forum on the Arms Trade.
Rachel Stohl (Stimson Center) wrote "Exercising Restraint: The New U.S. Rules for Drone Transfers?" published in the May edition of Arms Control Today. OnJune 10, Stohl will moderate an event on the illicit proliferation of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) in the Middle East and North Africa, featuring C.J. Chivers (New York Times) and Matt Schroeder (Small Arms Survey).
Colby Goodman (Security Assistance Monitor) co-authored a new report on the extent and challenges of U.S. security assistance to Tunisia ahead of the president of Tunisia's visit with President Obama on May 21. In a blog post, he also examined the U.S. House of Representatives-approved strategic reviewof Pentagon security assistance. In June, Goodman plans to publish a fact sheet on U.S. military aid to Central Asia and Kenya.
Alejandro Sanchez (Council on Hemispheric Affairs) examined US-Brazil relations (Blouin News) prior to planned meetings of the presidents of both countries. He will give a presentation to a group of students from Miami University (Ohio) in early June on the future of U.S.-Western Hemisphere relations.
Lisa Haugaard (Latin America Working Group) introduced a new resource for using the Leahy Law and reviewed some of the its successes in a May 22 Voices columns "The Law That Helps the U.S. Stop Heinous Crimes by Foreign Militaries" (Open Society Foundations).
Cédric Poitevin (Groupe de Recherche et d'Information sur la Paix et la Sécurité, GRIP) will join other Forum-listed experts at the United Nations in New York City for the June 1-5 Meeting of Governmental Experts to the Program of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
Jeff Abramson (Forum on the Arms Trade) organized and moderated the Forum's May 19 media briefing.
* Inclusion on the Forum on the Arms Trade expert list does not indicate agreement with or endorsement of the opinions of others. Institutional affiliation is indicated for identification purposes only. To learn more about being listed as an expert, see this FAQ.
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