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April 7 - Tracking Arms in Conflict. Hold the date: April 23. Spotlight +
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Arms Trade News

April 2015


Featured in this monthly edition:
  • Upcoming Event: April 7 - Tracking Weapons in Conflict: Lessons From Syria & Iraq
  • Hold the Date: April 23
  • Spotlight: Rachel Stohl
  • Experts in Action
  • Video now available - March 16 event
  • Looking Ahead publication online
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.
April 7 Event - Tracking Arms in Conflict
Tracking Arms in Conflict: Lessons from Syria & Iraq
April 7, 11:00AM - noon


Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor,
Washington DC, 20036

Identifying and tracking weapons being used in armed conflicts is a dangerous but vital task. At times this is done by investigators on the ground, but often relies on footage and other evidence viewed from afar. On April 7, experts will discuss how they are tracking weapons used in Syria and Iraq, and share some of their recent findings.
Panelists include Jonah Leff (Director of Operations, Conflict Armament Research) and Matt Schroeder (Senior Researcher, Small Arms Survey). Moderation by Rachel Stohl (Senior Associate, Stimson Center). RSVP now.
Hold the date - April 23 event

ASSESSING PROPOSED U.S. SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA, and the MIDDLE EAST


On April 23, Forum on the Arms Trade experts will discuss the diverse security needs and proposed U.S. security assistance to Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Featuring:

Cole Bockenfeld, Advocacy Director, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
Adam Isacson, Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Colby Goodman, Senior Research Associate, Security Assistance Monitor

This event is co-hosted by the Forum on the Arms Trade and the Security Assistance Monitor, a project of the Center for International Policy. Location and time to be determined.
 
Rachel Stohl
Expert Spotlight: Rachel Stohl

Rachel Stohl (Stimson Center) recently wrote on the current conflict in Yemen and detailed what's at stake for the United States in terms of military and security assistance, as well as future counterterrorism efforts (Stimson Spotlight with Shannon Dick). On March 31, she discussed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) during an event at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. On April 1, Stohl will be presenting on key aspects for ATT implementation at an informal meeting hosted by the missions of Australia, Ghana and Mexico to the United Nations in New York. She will also be attending the third informal preparatory meetings on the ATT in Vienna from April 20-21. With Paul Holtom, Stohl leads the ATT Baseline Assessment Project (website) that is laying the groundwork for ATT implementation.

Also in April, Stohl will moderate an event on key issues and insights for the U.S. defense budget (April 3), the Forum's featured
event "Tracking Weapons in Conflict" (April 7), an event spotlighting SIPRI's soon-to-be released data on military expenditures (April 16), and a panel discussion on transatlantic and international standards of use for armed drones (April 24).
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. Please also see the Forum's Looking Ahead essays, detailed at the end of this newsletter.

Adam Isacson (Washington Office on Latin America) commented on immigration trends (LA Times), U.S. sanctions on Venezuela (Huffington Post), and Colombia's peace process. On April 23, he'll discuss U.S. security assistance to Latin America at the Forum's upcoming event.

William Hartung (Center for International Policy) wrote about and was
quoted widely on Pentagon budget priorities and reform (Huffington Post, LA Times, Salon) in March, including on the need for greater transparency in security assistance (Sunshine Week). On April 13, he'll be a panelist at a UN lunch in New York looking at SIPRI's new military expenditure data.

Cole Bockenfeld (Project on Middle East Democracy) commented on security developments in
Tunisia (CCTV America) and Yemen (Voice of America Dari and Voice of America Afghanistan in Pashtu). On April 23, he'll discuss U.S. security assistance to the Middle East at the Forum's upcoming event.

John Lindsay-Poland (Fellowship of Reconciliation Peace Presence) authored an analysis on the 
Mexican Military’s Buying Binge (NACLA), and appeared on Washington DC's WPFW (radio) to discuss the topic. He also wrote “Leaving Children Behind” (Huffington Post) that expanded upon his Looking Ahead brief focused on U.S. security assistance to Latin America. On April 25, he will be leading a workshop on methods for researching militarism at the Peace and Planet Conference in New York. 
 
Colby Goodman (Security Assistance Monitor) commented on why the distinction between lethal and non-lethal aid may be misleading. On April 23, he'll discuss U.S. security assistance to Africa at the Forum's upcoming event.

Matthew Bolton (Pace University) will be in Geneva during April 13-17 for
CCW discussions on killer robots.

Alejandro Sanchez (Council on Hemispheric Affairs) examined
Brazil's arms industry (Eurasia Review) and the U.S. Coast Guard's western hemisphere strategy (E-International Relations).

Natalie Goldring (Georgetown University) commented on
arms transfers to the Middle East (Inter Press Service).

Nils Duquet (Flemish Peace Institute) commented on gun control policy in Europe and the fight against
illicit firearms (BBC Radio 4).

Jeff Abramson (Forum on the Arms Trade) discussed responsibility in the arms trade at the Forum's March 16 event and continues to organize future Forum events, including two in the month of April.

* 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.
Video - March 16 - Global Arms Trade
Video online - Global Trends

On March 16, the Forum on the Arms Trade and the Stimson Center co-hosted "Global Arms Trade: Recent Trends & Looking Ahead" in Washington, DC. Featuring SIPRI's latest annual
report "Trends in international arms transfers, 2014" video is now available of the event, courtesy of the Stimson Center. Panelists: Dr. Aude Fleurant, Director of the Arms and Military Expenditure Programme at SIPRI, Jeff Abramson (Founder, Forum on the Arms Trade) and Rachel Stohl (Senior Associate, Stimson Center).
Looking Ahead publication issued in March

On March 11, the Forum on the Arms Trade issued its first publication, a collection of short essays "Looking Ahead" at an array of topics, available via download (pdf) or readable online (website). In these essays, Nicholas Marsh examines illicit arms trafficking, Natalie Goldring questions control of the global arms trade given U.S.-Russian competition, Rachel Stohl discusses proliferation and norms needed related to armed drones, and Jeff Abramson identifies efforts being championed by civil society. William Hartung examines U.S. military and security assistance to the Middle East and North Africa, while Adam Isacson and John Lindsay-Poland present contrasting views on the likely impact of proposed U.S. aid to Central America.
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