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Commentary - Security Assistance Monitor

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Five dangers of giving the Commerce Department oversight of firearms exports

by Rachel Stohl, Colby Goodman

Defense News, Sep-25-2017 |

U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Buy American” agenda is taking a potentially deadly turn, with the administration expected to issue new regulations that would make it easier for U.S. firearms and related ammunition to reach terrorists, criminal organizations and corrupt and abusive foreign security forces... Read More »

Debunking Myths that Fuel Irresponsible U.S. Defense Policy

by Taner Bertuna, Colby Goodman

Lob Log, Jun-30-2017 |

As President Trump continues to authorize record-breaking U.S. arms deals to Saudi Arabia and many other countries around the world and propose major increases in Pentagon spending, he is positioning himself to claim wins on two of his campaign promises: build a military that is “gonna be so strong nobody’s gonna mess with us,” and increase U.S. jobs... Read More »

Commerce Department Boosts Arms Sales Deliveries to Record High

by Colby Goodman

LobeLog, Mar-01-2017 |

U.S. arms sales deliveries jumped to more than $25 billion in FY 2015, increasing the total value of U.S. arms deliveries by at least $5 billion over recent years, according to latest data from several U.S. government reports. The major increase in U.S. arms sales deliveries comes from a relatively new Commerce Department program established in part to help U.S. companies export certain types of military equipment more easily. Some arms industry associations are already urging the Trump administration to further reduce controls on defense companies exporting arms, but it’s too early to tell what specific controls the administration would seek to reduce... Read More »

Why Haven’t We Defeated al-Shabaab?

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, Jan-30-2017 |

“We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?” the Trump transition team asked the State Department. To foreign policy professionals, such questions may sound naïve and uninformed. They may reflect “an overwhelmingly negative and disparaging outlook” on Africa, as one expert characterized them, and extreme skepticism about the value of foreign aid. But rather than debating the motives of those asking the questions, the national security establishment ought to seize the opportunity to reexamine some long-standing assumptions... Read More »

Pentagon will finally find out if it pays to assist foreign armies

by Diana Ohlbaum

The Hill, Jan-25-2017 |

Since 9/11, the U.S. government has spent more than $250 billion to strengthen the security forces of over 130 countries. Yet there is remarkably little information about what is working, how and why... Read More »

Trump and Security Assistance

by Seth Binder

LobeLog, Nov-22-2016 |

U.S. security assistance has become one of the major foreign policy tools of the U.S. government since 9/11 to combat terrorism abroad, but this assistance is increasingly criticized for failing to achieve its objectives and in some cases exacerbating problems... Read More »

U.S. Military and Police Aid Programs A Basic Guide

by Celina Menzel, Colby Goodman

Nov-11-2016 | Fact Sheet

n/a... Read More »

Israel Gives Up Little to Get Largest Ever U.S. Arms Deal

by Seth Binder

LobeLog, Sep-16-2016 |

After pushing off negotiations until the Iran deal concluded, Netanyahu has “settled” for the largest military aid package to any country in the history of U.S. security assistance. The deal will provide Israel $38 billion over ten years starting in 2019. Although the record deal does contain some significant Israeli concessions compared to the last agreement, little is likely to change... Read More »

How Did a Nuclear Warhead End Up Lying in a Ditch in Arkansas?

by William D. Hartung

The Nation, Sep-13-2016 |

The documentary Command and Control shows just how horrifyingly vulnerable we are to errors involving nuclear weapons. The question is not just whether Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un can be trusted with nuclear weapons; it is whether it is safe for any nation to possess them at all... Read More »

How the Pentagon became the world's weapon system superstore

by William D. Hartung

War College, Sep-08-2016 | Interview

The United States is the world's largest arms merchant. It's not even close. So, who decides what gets sold, and to whom? And how closely does anyone follow the rules? This week on War College we look at the upsides, and the downsides, of having such a big share of the arms market... Read More »

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