Several recent U.S. government reports identified significant difficulties in tracking U.S. small arms and light weapons meant for Afghan national forces and an improvement in monitoring such weapons meant for Iraq.
According to a January study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States did not maintain complete records for 87,000 of 242,000 U.S.-procured weapons for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The study also found records to be unreliable for 135,000 weapons obtained from 21 other countries for the ANSF. (Continue)
Notifications made to Congress in 2008 of requested U.S. arms sales reached their highest monetary level in more than a decade. Countries in the Middle East accounted for more than half of the $75 billion in government-to-government requests, which also included controversial arrangements with Taiwan. Notifications do not always result in deliveries, and experts warn against expecting the high level of possible deals to continue. (Continue)
Letter to the Obama Administration from 67 national organizations, requesting a review of U.S. policy on landmines and cluster bombs.
In 2007 the United States again led the world in delivery of and sales agreements for conventional arms. In that year, the value of global transfer agreements rose to nearly $60 billion, up approximately $5 billion from 2006, with the majority of the increase coming in arrangements with developing countries. The value of global deliveries fell, however, according to the latest annual report by Congressional Research Service analyst Richard Grimmett. (Continue)
The Bush administration notified Congress Oct. 3 that it plans to sell more than $6.4 billion in military equipment to Taiwan, triggering sharp criticism from China, which believes that the move would violate bilateral assurances made by Washington to decrease arms transfers to Taiwan.
According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the bulk of the planned U.S. sale would include 330 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles and 30 Apache Longbow attack helicopters, as well as 182 Javelin guided anti-tank missiles, 32 submarine-launched Harpoon missiles, spare parts for F-16s and other fighter aircraft, and upgrades for four E-2T Hawkeye 2000 early-warning aircraft. The proposed package does not include new F-16 fighter jets or submarines, about which Beijing has been particularly concerned. (Continue)
Congress adjourned in October without acting on proposed defense trade treaties inked in 2007 with
After dipping in 2006, global conventional arms exports last year rose because of increased weapons transfers by
On Jan. 22, President George W. Bush issued a directive designed to expedite export licensing of defense equipment, services, and technical data. The directive may ease criticism from industry and Congress that the U.S. export controls system is unnecessarily time consuming, but few specific details about the directive are available. (Continue)
In part in response to a July 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report critical of the Department of Defense’s record keeping, Congress has passed legislation mandating new tracking requirements for defense articles provided to Iraq. Another congressionally approved measure places restrictions on military aid to some countries and calls for spending to help others based on humanitarian factors. (Continue)