new arms sales tracker, events, and experts
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Arms Trade News

February 10, 2017

Featured in this newsletter:
  • New Publications and Resources
  • Events
  • In the Media
  • Recently Added Experts
New Publications and Resources
The Forum recently launched a major U.S. arms sales notification tracker with information from 1997 to today, including a living excel sheet downloadable for those who would like to do their own data analysis. 
Major Arms Sales Tracker
Three Forum-listed experts, Natalie Goldring, William Hartung, and Jeff Abramson, offered insights into the first major arms sales notification of the Trump administration, expressing concern about a business as usual approach.
Indefensible - Seven Myths That Sustain the Global Arms Trade
Indefensible challenges conventional wisdom about the arms trade, finding many flaws in the global market. Numerous Forum-listed experts aided the author in his research, including Andrew Feinstein, William Hartung, Paul Holtom, Lora Lumpe, Nic Marsh, and Leah Wawro.

Washington-DC based
Jeff Abramson
Adotei Akwei
Sunjeev Bery
Cole Bockenfeld
Dan Gettinger
Natalia Goldring
Colby Goodman
Lisa Haugaard
Adam Isacson
Sarah Kinosian**
Kate Kizer**
Lora Lumpe
Daniel Mahanty**
Amy Nelson
Josh Ruebner
Todd Ruffner
Alejandro Sanchez
Theo Sitther
Rachel Stohl
Anne-Charlotte Merrell

U.S. (outisde of DC)
Matthew Bolton
Denise Garcia**
William Hartung
Edward J. Laurance
John Lindsay-Poland
Allison Pytlak**
Heather Roff**

Deepayan Basu Ray**
Tobias Bock
Subindra Bogati
Mark Bromley
Martin Butcher
Nils Duquet
Andrew Feinstein
Aude Fleurant
Hector Guerra
Paul Holtom
Erin Hunt
Roy Isbister**
Nicholas Marsh
Robert Muggah
Jasmin Nario-Galace
Iain Overton
Robert Perkins**
Cedric Poitevin
Laura Spano
Leah Wawro
Wim Zwinjenburg

* Inclusion on the Forum on the Arms Trade expert list does not indicate agreement with or endorsement of the opinions of others.

**Recently listed as Forum expert
Recent Reports and Writings*

U.S. Arms Exports

Jeff Abramson authored an Arms Control Association factsheet on the proposed major US arms export agreements in 2016 finding the annual totaled was nearly $63 billion—the second highest amount during Barack Obama’s 8-year presidency. More than two-thirds (nearly $44 billion) involved just four Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia—that each requested greater than $5 billion in sales.

Earlier this month, Rachel Stohl addressed
Trump's opportunity to support transparency and accountability on the conventional arms trade. Stohl offered three pragmatic steps: review sales to countries that are human rights risks, consider long term regional/international stability implications of potential arms sales in addition to short-term economic benefits, and support transparency and accountability of global arms transfers. 

Killer robots

Heather Roff wrote in the Slate about the importance of public opinion in relation to killer robots and other autonomous weapon systems. Roff suggests that the current debate over autonomous weapons systems is valuable, but lacking a key ingredient. Perhaps, the most important point: whether these systems are contrary to a set of shared human values.

Illicit Trade

Nicholas Marsh, along with Topher McDougal, built two datasets to further the ability to make economic analysis on the illicit small arms trade. Done as a joint effort of the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) and the Small Arms Data Observatory (SADO), the project hopes to ease some of the difficulty in detecting and quantifying illicit arms flows,


Kate Kizer aided in the publication of the Yemen Peace Project's new report on the current state of U.S. involvement in Yemen, along with recommendations for the U.S. administration and Congress. 

Child Soldiers

Lora Lumpe authored in
The Hill- Congress Blog an assessment of the U.S. government's attention to child soldiers, calling for it to be a leader on the topic. She notes that "the reality is that the U.S. government treats child soldiering and human trafficking as distinct phenomena. Child soldiering gets fewer resources and less attention. It is time to close this gap."

Additional publications are listed on the Forum's home page, as well as in the archive dating back to January 2016.

* Reports and articles were typically authored or co-authored by
Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts, unless detailed otherwise. Inclusion here does not indicate endorsement of or by the Forum nor the institutions cited. See more details.
Looking Ahead 2017 Blog Series
In a blog series that ran from December 13 to January 10, Forum-listed experts examined an array of issues that will be important in 2017. The blog discussed arms sales to the Middle East (Allison Pytlak) in general and under a Trump administration (William Hartung) as well as related to an important UK court case (Roy Isbister), drones (Dan Gettinger), killer robots (Erin Hunt), suicide bombers (Iain Overton), illicit arms and poaching (Matthew Bolton), and the role of players other than states (Jeff Abramson).
Feb 28 event - The Global Arms Trade
Changing political landscapes in the United States, Europe, and Russia continue to drive global arms sales. As priorities shift, threats emerge, and the global economy fluctuates, the global arms market responds.
The Forum is co-sponsoring with the Stimson Center and SIPRI a February 28th event in Washington DC on the global arms trade, assessing trends and discussing the future outlook. 
Register here. More details forthcoming.
Upcoming Events with Forum Experts
William Hartung  will join panel discussions on February 13 in New York and on February 15 outside Boston.  Both will take the release of Indefensible: Seven Myths That Sustain the Global Arms Trade  as a starting point for their conversations on the international arms trade.

On February 23, Rachel Stohl will lead a panel discussion on efforts to establish global standards for drone transfer and use. Experts will explore the current status and future prospects of the Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and provide insight on what is needed to ensure that such an agreement is effective and successful. 
In the Media

Andrew Feinstein was interviewed by the BBC (link unavailable) on the UK High Court Legal Review on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, for which hearings took place this week.  The British court's decision should be announced in late March or early April.

William Hartung urged 
caution as rumors this week indicate that the Trump administration is seeking to proceed on controversial arms sales to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

At a January 24 conference in Paris on "Arms Trafficking from Post-Conflict Situations" organized by SIPRI and GRIP, Nils Duquet presented on linkages between firearms trafficking and violence in Europe committed by criminals and terrorists. After the conference, Duquest did a short interview, in French, on these topics.

The Cipher cited Rachel Stohl in a January 20 
article discussing Obama's legacy as an arm's exporter. In it, Stohl remarks on the large number of arms deals made under the Obama administration. 

Recently Added Experts

The Forum on the Arms Trade now lists 
48 experts, 20 based in Washington DC, 7 more located elsewhere in the United States, and 21 internationally based experts located in Australia, Canada, Belgium, Brazil, Nepal, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The eight most recently added experts to the list are:

Deepayan Basu Ray is the ATT Monitor Coordinator for the Control Arms Secretariat, managing all aspects of the project, including editing and preparing research, managing outreach and communications, and building and maintaining research and advisory networks.

Denise Garcia is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and the International Affairs program at Northeastern University in Boston. She researches on international law, global governance of security, and the formation of new international norms and their impact on peace and security. 

Roy Isbister leads Saferworld's Arms Units. For more than 15 years he has worked at developing and implementing strategies to promote the adoption of responsible arms transfer control strategies at national, regional and international levels. 

Sarah Kinosian tackles U.S. defense policy, arms trafficking, Cuba, and citizen security at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). As a part of WOLA’s Defense Oversight team, her main areas of focus are Central America, arms sales, and U.S. security assistance to the hemisphere.  

Kate Kizer is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at The Yemen Peace Project, which works to promote understanding between Americans and Yemenis and to advocate for a peaceful, constructive foreign policy. Previously, she worked an US Advocacy Officer for Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. 

Daniel Mahanty is the Senior Advisor for CIVIC's U.S. Program, where he engages U.S. policymakers to promote the adoption of policies and practices that enhance the protection of civilians in conflict, including through international security cooperation and assistance. Prior to joining CIVIC, Dan spent 16 years at the U.S. Department of State. In 2012, he created and led the Office of Security and Human Rights in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. 

Robert Perkins is a researcher for the the ATT Monitor, a project of Control Arms, and based in the UK. His work analyses the impact and implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty. Previously, Perkins was the senior weapons researcher at Action on Armed Violence (AOAV).

Allison Pytlak is a Program Manager in the disarmament program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She has nearly a decade of experience working in arms control and disarmament with direct participation in several prominent international advocacy campaigns. 

Heather Roff is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, a Research Scientist in the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University, as well as a research fellow at New America. Her research interests include the law, policy and ethics of emerging military technologies, as well as international security and human rights protection.
Relaunch of the Forum's Emerging Expert Program - Washington DC

Please contact us if you know of or are someone who is an emerging expert in our field based in Washington DC! The ideal candidate would be pursuing a relevant master's or doctorate degree or working at an entry-level position. See FAQ. Program to restart shortly with the aim of supporting the next generation of professionals.

Please spread the news!
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About the Forum

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.
Copyright © 2017 Forum on the Arms Trade, All rights reserved.

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