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Arms Trade News

May 2015

Featured in this monthly edition:
  • Spotlight: Cole Bockenfeld
  • Experts in Action
  • New DC program for Emerging Experts
  • Video and other resources available - April 7 and 23 events
  • Find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr
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.
Cole Bockenfeld
Expert Spotlight: Cole Bockenfeld

Cole Bockenfeld (Project on Middle East Democracy) served on the panel at the Forum's April 23 event, discussing U.S. security assistance to countries in the Middle East. One topic, the resumption of arms trade with Egypt, had filled the airwaves earlier in the month, where Bockenfeld's expertise was sought by many media (video). Later this month, POMED will release its annual review of the fiscal year 2016 federal budget and appropriations through the lens of democracy, governance and human rights in the Middle East (see last year's version). More details coming soon.
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 a long essay in The National Interest on April 20 about transparency and the U.S. drone program. She was also widely quoted on drone issues in April, including by the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Politico, and Christian Science Monitor. On May 12, Stohl will host an evening reception featuring the “50 Celebrating 50” exhibit at the Stimson Center that will include remarks from Ambassador Jorge Lomonaco of Mexico and Ambassador Martin Dahinden of Switzerland concerning the Arms Trade Treaty. On May 13, she will co-host a meeting with the Wilson Center on the treaty that will feature a discussion with Ambassador Lomonaco.

Colby Goodman (Security Assistance Monitor) authored a new report on proposed U.S. security assistance, first discussed at the April 23 event he moderated (more details below). See also a blog post focused on the related $10 billion Defense Department military aid request.

Adam Isacson (Washington Office on Latin America) discussed U.S. security assistance to Latin America on April 23, and compiled a list of military aid programs, finding the Defense Department had 71 compared to the State Department's eight.

Theo Sitther (Friends Committee on National Legislation) argued that a non-militarized response was needed to the university attack in Kenya (US News and World Report). He also discussed U.S. security assistance to Africa at the Forum's April 23 event.

William Hartung (Center for International Policy) examined the Obama administration's six-year arms sales record (Lobe Log) and appeared on Democracy Now April 7 to discuss whether this was contributing to violence in the Middle East. On April 13, he was panelist at a UN event in New York looking at SIPRI's new military spending data. Later in April he examined the defense industry and the price of peace (Mark News).

Andrew Feinstein (Corruption Watch) chaired an event at the Frontline Club in London on April 23 to discuss the new book Gun Baby Gun by investigative reporter Iain Overton. On May 7 he will be discussing the global arms trade during a presentation at the UN Association in Groningen, Netherlands.

Matthew Bolton (Pace University) presented the International Committee for Robot Arms Control's final statement to the CCW discussion on killer robots on April 17 in Geneva.

Alejandro Sanchez (Council on Hemispheric Affairs) examined U.S. arms sales to Mexico (Blouin News) and contributed to a report on
Russian foreign policy activities for the Russian Observatory of the Centro Argentino de Estudios Internacionales, where he is a guest scholar.

Natalie Goldring (Georgetown University) commented on the prospects of a new U.S.-Russia arms race in the Middle East
(Inter Press Service).

Tobias Bock (Transparency International UK) supported the release of the latest Defense Companies Anti-Corruption Index in the last week of April

Rachel Stohl, Paul Holtom and Nic Marsh contributed to the ongoing discussions of Arms Trade Treaty implementation during meetings preparing for the treaty's first Conference of States Parties held in Vienna April 20-21.

Lisa Haugaard (Latin America Working Group) was added to the Forum on the Arms Trade expert list on April 30.

Jeff Abramson (Forum on the Arms Trade) organized and briefly spoke at two Forum events in April and worked to start the Emerging Experts program.

* 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.
Emerging Experts
Emerging Experts program begins in Washington DC

In April, the Forum on the Arms Trade inaugurated a new program to support the development of the next generation of experts, creating a list of individuals in the Washington DC area who have fewer than three years professional experience--but an expressed interest--in addressing the issues tackled by the Forum (see FAQ). Check out the emerging experts listed thus far: Seth Binder, Shannon Dick, Sean Langberg, Todd Ruffner, Jessica Singh & Nate Smith. 
Video - April 7 - Tracking Arms in Conflict
Resources: April events on tracking arms in conflict and proposed security assistance

On April 7, the Forum on the Arms Trade and the Stimson Center co-hosted "Tracking Arms in Conflict - Lessons from Syria and Iraq." Video of the event is available and now also a full report of findings from Conflict Armament Research experts, which were previewed at the event and have since been widely reported

On April 23, the Forum and the Security Assistance Monitor co-hosted "Assessing Proposed U.S. Security Assistance to Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East" where experts presented two new fact sheets on fiscal year 2016 security assistance and defense programs that provide assistance to foreign countries.
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