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Commentary - Security Assistance Monitor

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Stop Playing Games With The Pentagon Budget

by William D. Hartung

Huffington Post, Jun-17-2016 |

Defending the United States and its allies is serious business. That’s all the more reason Congress should stop playing games with Pentagon spending. A good place to start would be to put aside proposals to add billions to the department’s already ample budget. The Senate took a step in the right direction earlier this month when it beat back an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would have added $18 billion in Pentagon spending beyond the amount agreed to in last year’s bipartisan budget deal... Read More »

On Nuclear Dangers, Hillary Should Beat Trump Hands Down

by William D. Hartung

Huffington Post, Jun-02-2016 |

Today’s foreign policy speech by Hillary Clinton was designed to demonstrate that Donald Trump has neither the knowledge nor the temperament to serve as commander-in-chief. She succeeded. And as Clinton indicated at numerous points during her remarks, nowhere is this more obvious than on the question of who should have the power to decide whether to use nuclear weapons... Read More »

The Foreign Policy Blueprint Hillary Shouldn’t Follow

by William D. Hartung

Huffington Post, Jun-01-2016 | Article

Two weeks ago the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a report entitled “Extending American Power: Strategies to Expand U.S. Engagement in a Competitive World Order.” It could just as easily have been entitled “What Hillary Should Do When She Gets Elected, and Why She Should Hire Us to Do It.” The report’s authors run the gamut from interventionist Republican neocons like Robert Kagan to Democratic hawks like Michele Fluornoy, the co-founder of CNAS and a possible candidate for Secretary of Defense in a Hillary Clinton administration. There is not a fresh or independent voice in the lot. As Stephen Walt rightly points out in his take-down of the report in Foreign Policy, this is at best a status quo document, and at worst a doubling down on the failed policies of the past two decades. And why should we expect otherwise? After all, as Walt notes, “the report’s signatories helped create many of the problems they now seek to fix, so you’d hardly expect them to cast a critical eye on their own handiwork.”... Read More »

Obama After Hiroshima: From Words to Action

by William D. Hartung

Huffington Post, May-27-2016 |

President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima this morning was a piece of history. He rose to the occasion in his remarks, speaking eloquently not only of the need to eliminate nuclear weapons but also questioning the institution of war itself, all with a clear focus on the devastating human consequences of armed conflict. Now the President must use the visit as a starting point for taking concrete steps that will hasten the creation of a world free of nuclear weapons. He has eight months left to make a difference... Read More »

Pentagon Pork Revealed in Three Amendments

by William D. Hartung

Huffington Post, May-18-2016 |

Watching the House of Representatives debate Pentagon policy and budgeting isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, to put it mildly. But for those who have time and access to C-SPAN or the House’s own streaming service, watching these deliberations can be instructive. It’s democracy in action, and it’s a sight to behold - but not always in a good way... Read More »

Corruption in Military Aid Undermines Global Security

by William D. Hartung

LobeLog, May-12-2016 | Article

This week the government of the United Kingdom is hosting a conference of leaders in business, government, and civil society aimed at tackling the urgent problem of global corruption. The conference’s stated goals are ambitious: to “expose corruption so there is nowhere to hide,” “punish the perpetrators and support those affected by corruption,” and “drive out the culture of corruption wherever it exists.”... Read More »

Arms Sales As a Foreign Policy Tool

by William D. Hartung

Campaign for America's Future, May-11-2016 | Video

The next president should end the practice of using arms sales as an instrument of foreign policy, says William Hartung, director of the arms and security project, in this Burning Issues video... Read More »

U.S. Security Cooperation with GCC Countries

by Security Assistance Monitor

Apr-19-2016 | Fact Sheet

U.S. involvement with the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen is increasingly concerning as human rights organizations question the coalition's adherence to international law... Read More »

El Salvador’s Violence: No Easy Way Out

by Security Assistance Monitor

Mar-31-2016 |

In an attempt to understand the different sources and dynamics of violence, the Center for International Policy and the Latin America Working Group Education Fund traveled to El Salvador late last year. We interviewed journalists, analysts, government officials, judges, police officers, citizens, activists, humanitarian workers, diplomats, and academics. Our report, coming in a series of posts over the next week, will lay out El Salvador’s current security situation and provide recommendations for U.S. policy... Read More »

Lockheed Martin, Making Money the Old-Fashioned Way

by William D. Hartung

Huffington Post, Mar-17-2016 | Article

Lockheed Martin held its annual media day this week, and CEO Marillyn Hewson assured those attending that the company was financially sound and poised to lead the industry in developing the next generation of military technology, from military lasers to hypersonic weapons. But the bulk of the company's revenues rely on old-fashioned techniques - buying up other companies, profiting from the sale of big-ticket weapons systems, and pushing foreign sales... Read More »

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