Here is a guide to key sources of data and analysis on the arms trade, a listing of information available on the Internet (increasing all the time) and pointers for using the Freedom of Information Act. Also included are contact particulars for public interest experts who can serve as speakers or resource people.
Good, up-to-date information is essential for persuasive activism and/or accurate reportage on arms aid and trade. Fortunately, between US government publications and those produced by public interest groups, there is quite a lot of data and analysis available with which you can educate your community, local media and elected representatives. Most researchers and activists do not have the time to track down and read all of the following, and we are not suggesting that you need to do so. Pick and chose according to your interests and needs. The majority of the resources cited here are free and easy to obtain; ordering information is included. So get some of them, and hit them with the facts!
Citing a few choice statistics-especially those of an authoritative source-makes people sit up and take notice. (Too many figures, of course, puts them back to sleep.) Government numbers are especially effective since they cannot be dismissed as being tainted by a control advocate's bias. In fact, these data are some times biased in the other way by omitting certain information about US weapons transfers.
There are six major annual sources of data on the international arms trade. Four of these reports are based on US government information; one relies on information from all participating governments; the sixth is derived from a combination of these sources plus press reports. Each compilation presents slightly different information: Some count arms transfers to the whole world and others only to the developing world; some count transfers in US fiscal years and others in calendar years; some count the dollar volume of weapons traded and others count pieces of equipment; some count sales agreements made and others actual deliveries, some count only major weapons systems and others count everything--including small arms, military training and related services.
Conventional Arms Transfers to the Developing World. This Congressional Research Service (CRS) report for Congress provides comparative data and analysis on the dollar volume of arms transfer agreements and deliveries to the developing world by each of the major exporters. It offers similar, but less detailed, information on exports to the whole world (developed plus developing countries). It also provides tables listing the ten largest arms recipients and the amount of weaponry they imported. This report is timely, and it provides a tremendous amount of data in a an accessible form. Several pie charts and graphs indicate market share and trend lines for each of the major suppliers.
Keep several things in mind when using this report, though. First, the source of all of the data provided is given as "US Government." Independent analysts have no way of verifying the report's claims. Second, the "developing world" is defined in the report as all countries except the United States, Canada, Europe and the former Soviet republics, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. This means that exports to Turkey and Greece, two of the world's leading importers and major US customers, are excluded from most of the report. (A brief table in the back of the report provides data on exports to the whole world.) Third, commercial sales contracts are excluded from the data on the United States. Thus, the figures in the report for US exports and market share are understated.
$This report is free$ It is usually published in the summer, covering the preceding calendar year. As we go to print, the most recent edition of this report was issued in August 1997, and covers the eight year period 1989-96. This and other CRS reports can be requested through your congressional representative's office. Media can obtain CRS reports by calling 202/707-5700.
Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Military Assistance Facts. The Pentagon's Defense Security Assistance Agency produces this report, known as "FMS Facts" for short. This annual compilation provides some of the most detailed information available on US military exports and aid. (It does not include data on other countries' arms exports.) In a dozen separate data tables, this report lists the value of weaponry the United States contracted to sell or give, or actually delivered, to individual countries for each of the past ten fiscal years through each of several sales and aid channels. It also provides aggregate data on sales agreements and weapons deliveries to each country from 1950 to the present. FMS Facts also reveals the number of various weapons systems that have been exported, but it does not break the figure down by recipients (for example, as of 30 September 1997, the US government had exported 1,720 F-16 fighter/bombers to militaries around the world).
The Defense Security Assistance Agency also produces the Fiscal Year Series, which offers much of the same data but in a format centered around individual recipient countries, rather than around the different weapons sales and/or aid programs. In this report, spread out over two contiguous pages, a researcher can get a very detailed breakdown of all forms of military assistance the United States has given a particular recipient since 1950.
$These reports are free$ The most recent volume of FMS Facts was released in June 1998; it covers the period through the end of fiscal year 1997. To order it, phone the DSAA publications office at 703/601-3741. An online version is available at: http://web.deskbook.osd.mil/reflib/DDOD/001EN/001ENDOC.htm.
Section 655 Report. In 1996 Congress reinstated a requirement for this report in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Prepared by the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs with contributions from the Pentagon's Defense Security Assistance Agency, the "Section 655 Report" is due by February 1 of each year and contains the most detailed information available on specific US weapons transfers for the previous fiscal year. The first issue of the report, which covered fiscal year 1996, was not available until August 1997. As we go to print (July 1998), the report for 1997 has not been released. The "Section 655 Report" contains a country-by-country listing of the value of direct commercial sales agreements approved by the State Department (broken down by weapon category), details of all foreign military sales deliveries (again, broken down by weapon system, and including price and quantity of items exported) and information on excess defense article transfers and international military education and training grants approved. Finally, the report lists the military items manufactured abroad which the US government imported in the preceding year. This report is extremely large, not widely circulated and must be obtained directly from the State Department. Many arms control and human rights groups in Washington (such as the Federation of American Scientists and the Council for a Livable World) obtain copies of the report and provide summaries or are willing to share the entire report, or specific part of it, with interested individuals.
$This report is free$ It is available in limited quantity from the Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, public affairs office. To order it, phone 202/647-6968.
SIPRI Yearbook. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international "think tank" established in 1966 to research conflict, arms control and disarmament issues. The annual SIPRI Yearbook provides data for the preceding year on conflict and conflict resolution, military expenditures, weapons production and arms transfers. Each volume includes detailed tables and analysis on arms shipments during the prior year, including information about local production of weapons under a licensed agreement. The information is based on government and press reports and is well documented. The annual SIPRI chapter on the arms trade provides the greatest detail available about many countries' weapons imports and exports. This study focuses on the trade in major weapons systems, excluding small arms and military training.
$This book costs approximately $90 and is usually published in June$ The yearbook should be available in most university and public libraries. To order, write Oxford University Press, New York, NY 10000. For more information on this and other SIPRI publications, write: SIPRI, Frösunda, S-169 70 Solna, Sweden. Phone +46 8/655 9700; fax +46 8/655 9733; www.sipri.se.
UN Register of Conventional Arms. In 1991 the UN General Assembly voted to establish an annual registry of imports and exports of seven categories of major conventional weapons systems-tanks and armored vehicles, aircraft, ships, attack helicopters, missiles and large caliber artillery. All UN members states are urged to provide data to the United Nations by 30 April for transfers of such weapons during the preceding calendar year. The UN Department for Disarmament Affairs then compiles the data, and the Secretary General releases the report in the autumn. This data represents the only information on arms imports/exports revealed by many governments. And, unlike most of the other reports cited here, which count aggregate dollar values of arms imported or exported, this one counts pieces of equipment transferred. No information about price or value is included.
Critics say that the register is incomplete-that it does not cover all relevant weapons systems and that not all states are participating and providing data. In addition, countries' import and export declarations about a particular transaction sometimes differ, indicating misunderstanding or willful misinformation in participation by some states. Despite these shortcomings, the annual reporting exercise has served to highlight on-going regional arms races, most notably that between Greece and Turkey throughout the mid-1990s.
$This report is free$ Obtain a copy by phoning the UN Public Inquiries Office at 212/963-4475. It is also available on the worldwide web at http://domino.un.org/REGISTER.nsf.
World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers. The US State Department produces this report, which provides dollar volume estimates on arms imports, exports and military expenditure of each and every country in a given year. The report breaks down sources of arms imports by major suppliers. The report also includes data on a host of other indicators: population, gross domestic product, central government expenditure, etc., which can be used to demonstrate the relative burden arms imports and military expenditure place on a country. Each report covers ten calendar years. The most recent issue (as we go to print) is WMEAT 1996, released in July 1997 and containing data by year for the period 1985-95 WMEAT covers much of the same information as the CRS report. The WMEAT report is a glossier publication, but not as timely as is the CRS report. Moreover, as with the CRS study, this report should be used as an indicator of macro-trends in the global arms trade and military expenditures, rather than a precise indicator of the value of the trade. The data on arms transfers for countries other than the United States is based on estimates by "US Government sources"--principally the intelligence agencies-and there is no way to corroborate these estimates.
WMEAT may be obtained at 202/647-8677 for free, or from the Government Printing Office (see p. 111) at a cost of $17. It is also available on the web at http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/bureau_ac/reports_ac.html.
In addition to the above quantitative reports, several government and congressional agencies produce dozens of relevant analytical reports each year. Again, many of these studies are free. Below are some of the most useful resources, as well as information about the agencies that produce them.
Congressional Budget Office publications. The Congressional Budget Office was established in 1974 to provide Congress with budget-related information. It produces special reports for Congress on a wide variety of topics which impact public spending. In 1992 the CBO examined the pros and cons of arms export controls in Limiting Conventional Arms Exports to the Middle East. And each year the office publishes Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options, which--among other things-highlights savings that could be realized by cutting arms export promotional programs. All documents are free from the CBO. To request a list of publications, write to: Congressional Budget Office Publications, Ford House Office Building, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20515; or phone 202/226-2809. The Internet address is www.cbo.gov.
Congressional hearings and bills. Several congressional committees regularly publish relevant hearings, including administration testimony on arms export policy. You can obtain published hearings for free directly from the committee or the subcommittee that held the hearing; or you may purchase them from the US Government Printing Office (see p. 111) for a small charge. See page 61 for the addresses and phone numbers of the committees that most frequently publish hearings of interest. For free copies of House bills or reports (which are also printed in the Congressional Record and are available on-line), call the House Legislative Resource Center at 202/226- 5200. For Senate bills or reports, you must submit your request in writing, via the mail or fax. The address is Senate Documents Room, B04 Hart Building, Washington, DC 20510. The fax number is 202/228-2815, and the phone number is 202/224-7860. "Thomas," the Library of Congress' Internet site for Congress, provides links to the Congressional Record and all bills at thomas.loc.gov. Finally, there are approximately 1,400 federal depository libraries throughout the United States-at least one in each congressional district. All provide free public access to a wide variety of federal government and congressional information in both print and electronic formats, and each have expert staff available to assist users. To find the location of the federal depository near you, contact your congressional Representative's office, or on the Internet go to www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/dpos/adpos004.html.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The administration is required by law to send this report to Congress each February. In it, the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor critically reviews the human rights records of all states receiving development or military assistance-including arms sales-from the United States. The report is available from the Government Printing Office (see box, p. 111) for $59 or free on-line at www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/index.html
The DISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management. This is the quarterly journal of the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM), located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. DISAM trains US and foreign military personnel in US weapons sales policies and procedures. The magazine runs articles which highlight legislative initiatives and regulatory changes impacting arms exporting, and which trumpet the "successes" of US military aid programs. The journal also reprints relevant speeches by US military, diplomatic and political officials. Subscriptions to this insider magazine cost only $12 per year. Phone 937/255-2994 or 937/255-3669. Alternatively, you can find The DISAM Journal, additional infor- mation on DISAM and links to other military assistance providers on the Internet at disam.osd.mil. DISAM's Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM) guides Defense Department bureaucrats in the management of U.S. security assistance programs.
Defense Trade News. The State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls publishes Defense Trade News quarterly. This newsletter, geared primarily toward US arms exporting corporations and brokers, provides technical information on export licensing law, policy and practices. DTN is free and may be ordered by phoning the State Department at 703/875-5671, or by faxing a subscription request to 703/875- 5663. You can also download or print the newsletter from the Office of Defense Trade Control's web page, www.pmdtc.org.
Executive Office of the President publications. This service distributes documents from the White House and other Presidential offices, such as the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget. White House publications are free. Write or phone to order publications lists or publications. The address is 725 17th Street, NW, Room 2200, Washington, DC 20503. The phone number for general publications is 202/395-7332; to request press releases via fax, dial 202/395-9088. White House publications, including press releases and speeches, are also available on the Internet at www.pub.whitehouse.gov/WH/Publications/html/Publications.html.
General Accounting Office reports. The General Accounting Office was created in 1921 to assist Congress in its oversight responsibilities. The GAO publishes many reports on military aid programs and related issues every year. Monthly listings of newly published reports, and the reports themselves, may be ordered by mail (P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884) or by phone (202/512-6000). Single copies of GAO reports are free; additional copies are $2 each. GAO reports and testimonies are generally posted on the Internet within a week of publication. Check the foreign affairs index on-line at www.gao.gov.
Office of Technology Assessment. This office was an analytical arm of Congress created in 1972 to examine the impact of science and technology on policy formulation. Congress closed OTA at the end of fiscal year 1995, and its web service was subsequently discontinued. The Office of Technology Assessment produced several excellent reports on the US weapons industry and weapons proliferation, including Global Arms Trade (1991). OTA publications may be purchased at US Government Printing Office bookstores, usually for a cost of $10 or less. OTA publications archives will remain available indefinitely at some mirror sites on the Internet such as the National Academy Press at www.ota.nap.edu or the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, www.wws.princeton.edu:80/~ota.
The US Government Printing Office (GPO) prints the publications of Congress, federal agencies and federal courts. More than 20,000 publications are available for sale by the GPO at its Washington headquarters, and each of 24 GPO bookstores located across the country carries at least 1,500 of the most popular federal government publications, subscriptions and electronic products. See below to find the bookstore nearest to you.
You can order documents by mail, phone or fax. In addition, government publications are increasingly available online. "GPO Access" is the GPO's electronic publication service, available via the Internet. Searchable databases are available on a subscription basis or for free through participating Federal Depository Libraries located in congressional districts across the country. Services include Congressional bills and resolutions (with histories), the Congressional Record and the Federal Register. The Federal Register is the bulletin of the federal government, including notices of embargoes, updates of Commerce and State Department regulations governing arms transfers and notices of proposed government- and industry-negotiated weapons. The Congressional Record is the daily journal of Congress, which includes the text of bills introduced and the debate on the floor of the House and Senate.
The GPO produces more than 150 subject bibliographies devoted to specific areas of interest. These bibliographies help researchers sort through the thousands of books, periodicals, posters, pamphlets and subscription services available for sale. The GPO also produces a catalog of subscriptions on a quarterly basis. The subscription guide or any of the subject bibliographies can be ordered for free by writing or phoning the office of the Superintendent of Documents.
GPO Bookstores Nationwide
- First Union Plaza
- 999 Peachtree Street, NE
- Suite 120
- Atlanta, GA 30309
- phone 404/347-1900
- O'Neill Building
- 2021 3rd Avenue North
- Birmingham, AL 35203
- phone 205/731-1056
- Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building
- 10 Causeway Street
- Room 179
- Boston, MA 02222
- phone 617/720-4180
- One Congress Center
- Suite 124
- 401 South State Street
- Chicago, IL 60605
- phone 312/353-5133
- First Floor
- Federal Building
- 1240 East 9th Street
- Cleveland, OH 44199
- phone 216/522-4922
- Room 207
- Federal Building
- 200 North High Street
- Columbus, OH 43215
- phone 614/469-6956
- Room 1C50
- Federal Building
- 1100 Commerce Street
- Dallas, TX 75242
- phone 214/767-0076
- Room 117
- Federal Building
- 1961 Stout Street
- Denver, CO 80294
- phone 303/844-3964
- Suite 160
- Federal Building
- 477 Michigan Avenue
- Detroit, MI 48226
- phone 313/226-7816
- Texas Crude Building
- 801 Travis Street
- Houston, TX 77002
- phone 713/228-1187
- Room 158
- Federal Building
- 100 West Bay Street
- Jacksonville, FL 32202
- phone 904/353-0569
- Kansas City
- 120 Bannister Mall
- 5600 E. Bannister Rd.
- Kansas City, MO 64137
- phone 816/767-8225
- 8660 Cherry Lane
- Laurel, MD 20707
- phone 301/953-7974
- Los Angeles
- Arco Plaza, C-Level
- 505 South Flower Street
- Los Angeles, CA 90071
- phone 213/239-9844
- Room 190
- Federal Building
- 517 E. Wisconsin Ave.
- Milwaukee, WI 53202
- phone 414/291-1304
- New York
- Room 110
- Federal Building
- 26 Federal Plaza
- New York, NY 10278
- phone 212/264-3825
- Robert Morris Building
- 100 North 17th Street
- Philadelphia, PA 19103
- phone 215/597-0677
- Room 118
- Federal Building
- 1000 Liberty Avenue
- Pittsburgh, PA 15222
- phone 412/644-2721
- 1305 SW First Avenue
- Portland, OR 97201
- phone 503/221-6217
- Norwest Banks Building
- 201 West 8th Street
- Pueblo, CO 81003
- phone 719/544-3142
- San Francisco
- Room 1023
- Federal Building
- 450 Golden Gate Avenue
- San Francisco, CA 94102
- phone 415/252-5334
- Room 194
- Federal Building
- 915 Second Avenue
- Seattle, WA 98174
- phone 206/553-4270
- Washington, DC
- US Government Printing Office HQ
- 710 North Capitol Street, NW
- Washington, DC 20401
- phone 202/512-0132
- Washington, DC
- Farragut West Bookstore
- 1510 H Street, NW
- Washington, DC 20005
- phone 202/653-5075
We get our best information through requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Enacted originally in 1966, the FOIA enables anyone (not just US citizens) to request the release of classified or otherwise controlled documents from the executive branch. This includes not only printed documents, but also photographs, computer discs and cassette tapes-anything created or obtained by the agency in question. Depending upon the specifics of the information involved, it can take months or years for the department or agency to fulfill a FOIA request. While the law requires agencies to respond to an initial request within ten working days, the courts have ruled that longer delays are acceptable as long as the department is acting on FOIA requests on a first come, first served basis. Generally, you will receive a response letter or card within two weeks of your request notifying you of your place in the queue.
Key Links on the Information Superhighway
More and more information about America's arms exporting is available on the Internet. Many US government departments and agencies, as well as non-governmental public interest groups, have posted home pages. Following is a sample-by no means complete-of what is available.
- ARMS TRANSFERS WORKING GROUP
- The Federation of American Scientists Arms Sales Monitoring Project hosts a web page for this Capital Hill advocacy alliance, which includes links to campaigns and Internet sites of participants.
- CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
- That's right, the CIA is on line. CIA publications and handbooks are available, as well as congressional testimony and press releases.
- Through "Thomas" you can access legislative information, including the full text of the Con gressional Record, pending bills, public laws and voting records, as well as e-mail addresses for members of Congress.
- DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
- DefenseLINK, the Pentagon's worldwide web infoservice, contains up to date Pentagon press releases, notifications of arms sales to Congress, speeches and reports. Information from each of the military services is also accessible. The site, one of the largest on the Internet, is fully searchable.
- DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- Under the "outreach" heading at this site, daily press briefings are available, as are speeches by key department officials and reports on human rights, terrorism and counter-narcotics programs. Here you can find the annual human rights report and other useful materials.
- UNITED NATIONS
- This site contains links to UN departments and related international organizations. The Register of Conventional Arms is here, as well as information on peacekeeping, development, human rights and international humanitarian law.
- WHITE HOUSE
- The White House makes many documents available to the public on this site, including transcripts of the President's speeches and press conferences, press briefings, policy statements, fact sheets and announcements of nominations. You can easily obtain information according to the type of document and topic.
A FOIA request does not guarantee that the documents will be provided to you. If your request is denied, you may appeal the decision. The FOIA only applies to existing documents; it does not require government agencies to create or compile documents to satisfy a request, although sometimes they do so. You may be charged the costs associated with the agency's search for documents, review of them for disclosure and duplication. However, if your request is filed from "an educational or non-commercial scientific institution" or as "a representative of the news media," only duplication costs can be charged, and these fees are generally waived up to a certain threshold.
The FOIA applies to any federal agency, including the agencies, offices and departments of the executive branch of the government, as well as regulatory agencies and government-controlled corporations. The rules and regulations do not apply to the Congress, its members and committees or the federal courts. Since 1995, the Executive Office of the President, which includes the National Security Council, is not covered by the FOIA. The NSC nevertheless still processes requests, but it is not subject to appeals (or lawsuits-if you wish to take your case that far).
See the sample FOIA letter for a template. It is addressed to the State Department's FOIA office. Each department within the executive branch has an individual office responsible for FOIA requests. Contact information for the relevant offices within the foreign policy and military assistance establishment follow.
For more information on the FOIA, get a copy of a 1995 report from the House Committee on Government Oversight entitled, A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act to Request Government Records (House Report 104-156, also available from the GPO bookstore). The Pentagon has a Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Handbook on the web at www.defenselink.mil, under the "publications" heading. You can also check out the American Civil Liberties Union Internet site at www.aclu.org/library/foia.html, Public Citizen's freedom of information clearinghouse at www.citizen.org/litigation/foic/foic.html or the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy FOIA site at www.fas.org/sgp/foia/index.html
24 November 1997
- Mr. John Doe
- 1234 Any Street
- Anytown, Anystate 12345
- Office of Freedom of Information,
- Privacy and Classification Review
- IS/FPC/RD/CM Room 1512
- US Department of State
- 2201 C Street, NW
- Washington, DC 20520-1512
Dear Madam or Sir,
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
I request a copy of (title of document, if you know it; otherwise, describe the subject area for which you are requesting documents).
The report (or information) I am seeking was prepared by (name of the issuing office within the department or agency. Be as specific as you can. If you are requesting information in a general subject area, rather than a specific document, provide as much detail as possible: names, issues, countries involved, etc.).
The report is dated (give the date if you are seeking a specific, dated document; otherwise, specify a time frame for which you want the addressee to review their files and documents.).
If any part of these records are classified or otherwise restricted, I hereby request review for public release under current regulations, the provisions of Mandatory Declassification Review and the new Freedom of Information philosophy promulgated by Attorney General Janet Reno and the Clinton administration. If, following review, records are still restricted, please provide me with any unclassified portions.
I request a public interest fee waiver on retrieval and copying costs since no personal or commercial interests will benefit from the release of this document. (Provide more information about you or your organization's background and qualification to disseminate the information in the public interest.) If you deny my request for a fee waiver, I authorize you to spend $__ (fill in with your limit; we usually say $25.) in fulfilling this request. Please contact me before exceeding that limit.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.
What to FOIA, though? You can request specific reports, studies, cables, etc., or you can go on a fishing expedition and request any records pertaining to your area of interest. Generally, we base our FOIA requests on two sources. First, sections 25(a) and 36(a) of the Arms Export Control Act require a series of quarterly and annual reports on arms export programs. We routinely file requests for these reports, which include information on the amount of outstanding loans owed to the Pentagon by foreign governments for weapons purchases, the number of US military and contractor personnel stationed overseas in various countries, recent security assistance reviews conducted, etc. A second source of ideas is the House International Relations Committee's weekly Survey of Activities (available on the Internet at www.house.gov/international_relations) and in print. This bulletin lists all of the documents which the HIRC received during the preceding week from the executive branch. Many of these are highly relevant and interesting.
Since information obtained through the FOIA is off the beaten track, it can often provide the basis for press coverage. If you get an interesting tidbit, share it with a journalist or editorial page writer (unless you are going to write it up yourself!). Providing scoops to journalists builds good will that can later be called upon. In addition, if the information is something they are likely to be interested in or able to do something about, call it to the attention of your Representative's and Senators' legislative aides.
FOIA Points of Contact
- Office of Freedom of Information
- Privacy and Classification Review
- Department of State
- Room 1512
- Washington, DC 20520
- phone 202/647-6070
- Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
- Freedom of Information Office
- Room 5534
- 320 21st Street, NW
- Washington, DC 20451
- phone 202/647-4171
- Department of Commerce
- Bureau of Export Administration
- Freedom of Information Office
- Room 4525
- 14th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
- Washington, DC 20230
- phone 202/482-5653
- Access Management
- National Security Council
- Washington, DC 20506
- phone 202/456-9238
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Attn: John H. Wright
- Information and Privacy Coordinator
- Washington, DC 20505
- Freedom of Information
- and Security Review
- OASD(PA), Room 2C757
- The Pentagon
- Washington, DC 20301-1400
- phone 202/697-4026
- Department of the Army
- Chief, Freedom of Information
- and Privacy Acts Division
- HQ USAISC-P (ANQNS-OP-F)
- Crystal Square II, Suite 201
- 1725 Jefferson Davis Highway
- Arlington, VA 22202
- Department of the Navy
- Chief of Naval Operations
- Room 5E521, 2000 Navy
- The Pentagon
- Washington, DC 20350-2000
- Secretary of the Air Force
- 1620 Air Force
- The Pentagon
- Room 4A1088C
- Washington, DC 20330-1620
- Defense Intelligence Agency
- Attn: PSL-P/FOIA
- Washington, DC 20340-3299
- Office of the Inspector General
- Department of Defense
- Attn: Chief, FOIA/PA Office
- 400 Army Navy Drive, Room 405
- Arlington, VA 22202-2884
Below we have listed nearly two dozen public interest organizations that conduct specialized research on weapons proliferation- some based in the United States, and some abroad. These groups are in the business of collecting, analyzing, providing context and disseminating the most important parts of the resources described in the preceding pages, as well as producing other creative analysis. Staff at the US-based organizations can provide expert speakers for local events and serve as resource people for activists and the media. A few European organizations are highlighted here as resources for creative research and/or activism (rather than to provide speakers). Due to space constraints, though, this list is not inclusive.
Obtain the newsletters, magazines, books and articles mentioned below. Be sure to inquire about public interest rates, since reduced price or free subscriptions for activist individuals or non-profit institutions are often available. Publicize these publications within your community-at libraries, civic and religious organizations, schools and universities. In addition, several of the groups listed below are membership organizations. Join, and add your voice to others calling for responsible US foreign military policies.
Amnesty International USA has nearly 300,000 members. A special "co-group" of its membership focuses on US transfers of equipment to military and police forces of concern. In addition, AIUSA's DC-based regional advocacy directors are some of the most effective lobbyists in Washington working against US arms and military training for abusive units. Enactment of a human rights-centered Code of Conduct for Arms Transfers is one of the central goals of the worldwide Amnesty movement's "USA Campaign" during 1998-99. In recent years, Amnesty USA has published an annual report on Human Rights and US Security Assistance, examining the record of major recipients of US military aid. Numerous other publications coming out of AIUSA and the London-based headquarters are invaluable in building a case against American arms exports to abusive regimes. For more information on AIUSA's activities on arms, contact 304 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003; phone 202/544-0200; fax 202/546-7142; www.amnesty-usa.org.
Arms Control Association is a membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding and support for effective arms control policies. ACA works principally with and through the media, holding press conferences and publishing ten issues per year of Arms Control Today, which contains reportage and analysis on arms export issues. Subscriptions are $40 a year, and student rates are available. ACA's current arms trade expert is Wade Boese, and Eric Leklem covers efforts to control landmines. Contact ACA at 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 201, Washington, DC 20036; phone 202/ 463-8270; fax 202/463-8273; e-mail aca@ armscontrol.org; www.armscontrol.org.
Bonn International Center for Conversion is a worldwide clearinghouse on practical conversion experiences and projects, which provides documentation, research, information and consulting services for governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutes, companies and individuals involved in conversion. BICC publishes the Conversion Survey, as well as several well researched and attractive reports per year. The 1997 conversion yearbook is available from Oxford University Press for $35. BICC reports and briefs are free for an initial copy but additional copies cost $9 for reports and $6 for briefs. BICC is located at An der Elisabethkirche 25, D-53113 Bonn, Germany; Phone +49-228/911 960; fax +49-228/24 12 15; email firstname.lastname@example.org- bonn.de; bicc.uni-bonn.de
British-American Security Information Council is an independent research organization which analyzes US and European policies on weapons proliferation. BASIC is particularly knowledgeable about multilateral and European arms trade control efforts and the international trade in small arms. BASIC Reports, produced every six to eight weeks, provide timely analysis of recent international security developments. BASIC Papers provide a more detailed analysis of relevant issues, including the United Nations conventional arms register, NATO expansion, the European Union Code of Conduct, the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe. Full subscriptions, which include a year's worth of both BASIC Reports and Papers as well as other research reports, is $75 for individuals and non-profit organizations. A year-long subscription to BASIC Reports alone costs $25. For more information on light weapons, codes of conduct and the arms trade, contact Kate Joseph at BASIC, 1900 L Street, NW, Suite 401-2, Washington, DC 20036; phone 202/785- 1266; fax 202/387-6298; e-mail basic@ basicint.org; www.basicint.org
Campaign Against the Arms Trade is based in London and works to shut down the global arms trade, with a particular emphasis on restraining British arms exporting. CAAT, part of the European Network Against the Arms Trade, is very activist oriented and frequently demonstrates against British arms manufacturers and arms bazaars. CAAT News, published bi-monthly, is a terrific source of information on the latest British arms sales and on creative grassroots campaigns. Subscriptions cost £15 per year. For more information, contact Ann Feltham, CAAT, 11 Goodwin Street, Finsbury Park, London N4 3HQ England; phone +44 171/281 0297; fax +44 171/281 4369; e-mail email@example.com; www.gn.apc.org/caat
Center for Defense Information, directed by retired senior military officers, opposes excessive spending on weapons, as well as policies that increase the risk of war. The conventional arms transfer project provides arms trade-related information to the public, media and government officials through issues of the organization's newsletter, The Defense Monitor, and episodes of the weekly television program America's Defense Monitor. Videotapes of the TV show are available from CDI for $19 each. Relevant titles include: "Arms Merchant for the World," "The Black Market in US Arms Sales," "A Code of Conduct for Weapons Sales" and "Killing Fields: The Deadly Legacy of Land Mines." CDI also maintains an extensive arms trade database on the worldwide web and sends regular news updates by an e-mail list server. Rachel Stohl is the resident arms export expert. Membership is $35 a year, which includes a subscription to The Defense Monitor. Contact or join CDI by writing: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036; phone 800/CDI-3334; fax 202/462-4559; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; www.cdi.org
|Banner by the British Campaign Against the Arms Trade says it all.|
Center for Economic Conversion works for a sustainable, peace-oriented US economy. CEC provides educational materials, speakers and other assistance to conversion activists, and technical assistance to workers, managers and public officials confronting conversion of military industries or bases. Annual membership in CEC, $15-35 based on income, includes a subscription to the quarterly journal Positive Alternatives. The Center also produces "Economic Conversion Update," a summary of economic conversion activities around the nation. For more information, contact Michael Closson at CEC, 222 View Street, Mountain View, CA 94041-1344; phone 415/968-8797; fax 415/968-1126; e-mail email@example.com; www.conversion.org
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade is a national network formed to oppose Canadian arms exports and to lobby for conversion of military industries in Canada. COAT provides information to the public on Canada's role in the arms market and coordinates grassroots activities, including demonstrations at arms fairs. COAT publishes Press for Conversion! quarterly, and it is available for $15-20 per year. For information, or a subscription, contact Richard Sanders, COAT, 489 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 3N7, Canada; phone 613/231-3076; fax 613/231- 2614; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncf.carleton.ca/coat
Council for A Livable World Education Fund, Conventional Arms Transfer Program disseminates information on US arms sales policy to grassroots organizations and the media primarily through monthly publication of Arms Trade News. The newsletter costs $25 annually. Additional media outreach is conducted through the publication of op-eds in newspapers around the country. CLW's Arms Transfer Program has worked extensively on restraining arms marketing in Latin America, as well as on the implementation of a Code of Conduct for US arms exporting. Thomas Cardamone, Jr. directs the Council's arms trade work. Contact him at CLW, 110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002; phone 202/546- 0962; fax 202/546-5142; e-mail email@example.com; www.clw.org/pub/clw/cat/catmain.html
Demilitarization for Democracy examines the impact of military spending and arms transfers on countries in the developing world. DFD has published information on US policy and arms transfers to the Middle East and Africa, as well as US landmine policy in Korea. DFD participates in the Year 2000 Campaign to Redefine Military Spending, the US Campaign to Ban Landmines, and the Code of Conduct effort at the national and international levels. For more information, contact Scott Nathanson at 2001 S Street, NW, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20009; phone 202/319-7191; fax 202/319- 7194; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; www.clark.net/pub/dfd
Federation of American Scientists Fund, Arms Sales Monitoring Project works for transparency, accountability and restraint in US arms export policy. The Project is now working for the establishment of a Code of Conduct,tracking subsidies for arms exports, and launching a new initiative to study illicit arms trafficking. FAS produces the quarterly Arms Sales Monitor, which reports on US arms exports, pending legislation, and recent government publications of interest. It is available to activists for free. Other recent publications include Scourge of Guns (light arms in Latin America), Recycled Weapons (US weapons giveaways), and "Sweet Deals, Stolen Jobs" (arms export offsets). For more information, contact Tamar Gabelnick, ASM Project, 307 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002; phone 202/675- 1018; fax 202/675-1010; e-mail fas@fas. org; www.fas.org/asmp
Friends Committee on National Legislation is a multi-issue Quaker lobbying office. FCNL produces action alerts--via telephone, the web and its monthly Washington Newsletter-on US arms trade and other foreign policy matters. In addition, FCNL hosts bi- weekly meetings of the Arms Transfers Working Group and facilitates the alliance's legislative work. Joe Volk, the Executive Secretary of FCNL, also serves as co-chair of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines. For more information, contact Joe Volk, FCNL, 245 2nd Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002; phone 202/547- 6000; fax 202/547-6019; e-mail fcnl@fcnl. org; www.fcnl.org/
Human Rights Watch, Arms Division monitors the impact of arms transfers, particularly small arms and landmines, on human rights. The Arms Division's comparative advantage lies in the fact that it is able to conduct extensive field investigations around the world, rather than relying principally on government-generated information. Over the past few years the Division has produced a series of excellent reports, including Landmines: A Deadly Legacy; Weapons Transfers and Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey; Colombia's Killer Networks: The Military- Paramilitary Partnership and the United States; Angola: Arms Trade and Violations of the Laws of War; Landmines in Mozambique; Arming Rwanda; and US Cluster Bombs for Turkey. The reports are available for a minimal cost. For more information, contact Advocacy Director Loretta Bondi at 1522 K Street, NW, Suite 910, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202/371-6592; fax 202/371- 0124; e-mail email@example.com; www.hrw.org/about/projects/arms.html
Latin America Working Group is a coalition of 60 religious, grassroots, policy and development organizations that coordinates educational and advocacy efforts on US policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean. Areas of focus include shutting down the School of the Americas and monitoring other forms of military aid and arms to the region. In July 1998 LAWG published Just the Facts, by Adam Isacson of the Center for International Policy and Joy Olson of LAWG. Subtitled "A civilian's guide to US defense and security assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean," this volume provides a super-comprehensive examination of all forms of US military engagement with Central and South American militaries. Contact LAWG at 110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002; phone 202/546-7010; fax 202/543-7647; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The Center for International Policy has established a web page for Just the Facts at www.ciponline.org/facts
National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament is dedicated to educating the public on the need and the means for an orderly transfer of military resources to civilian use. The Commission publishes periodic briefing papers on defense industry layoffs and conversion policies, most recently US Conversion after the Cold War, 1990-96 (with the Bonn International Center for Conversion) and A Tale of Two Markets: Trade in Arms and Environmental Technologies. Contact Miriam Pemberton at the Commission (in care of the Institute for Policy Studies), 733 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202/234-9382, ext.214; fax 202/319-3558; e-mail ncecd@ igc.org; www.webcom.com/ncecd
Peace Action Education Fund is the public outreach and education arm of the national activist organization Peace Action, which coordinates the Grassroots Network Against the Arms Trade. This network helps citizens lobby and bring local attention to the arms trade by producing a series of excellent and timely activist alerts and updates. Peace Action also organizes rallies in support of the landmines ban treaty and demonstrations against arms bazaars and abusive regimes. The Education Fund is currently producing a series of dossiers on US military aid and arms supply to several repressive regimes. For more information, contact Jim Bridgeman at 1819 H Street, NW, Suite 660, Washington, DC 20006; phone 202/862-9740 ext. 3041; fax 202/862-9762; e-mail paarmstrade@igc. org; www.webcom.com/peaceact
Project Ploughshares is a Canadian peace and disarmament organization sponsored by the Canadian Council of Churches and supported by Canadian religious and civic organizations and thousands of individuals. The project publishes The Ploughshares Monitor quarterly. This journal reports on conflict and conflict resolution and arms proliferation and arms control, with a significant focus on conventional weapons. Subscriptions are $35 per year. For more information, contact editor Bill Robinson at: the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel College, Waterloo, Ontarios N2L 3G6 Canada. Phone 519/888-6541; fax 519/885-0806; e-mail email@example.com; www.ploughshares.ca/index_new.html
Saferworld is a London-based foreign affairs think tank dedicated to government advocacy and public education on preventing armed conflict. Working primarily on British and European Union arms control issues, Saferworld publishes the carefully researched Update three times a year, as well as many reports and briefings which include case studies on the socioeconomic costs of militarization and warfare. All are available for £15 per year. Saferworld recently established a "Code of Conduct" electronic newsletter, providing biweekly updates on efforts to establish Codes in the United States and European Union. For more information, contact Steve Shropshire at Saferworld, 33-34 Alfred Place, London SW1E 7DP, phone +44 171/580 8886; fax +44 171/631 1444; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; www.gn.apc.org/sworld/index.html
World Policy Institute, Arms Trade Resource Center produces timely and lively reports on various aspects of the global arms trade. Recent publications include the excellent book And Weapons for All (HarperCollins, 1995); Peddling Arms, Peddling Influence; Conflicting Values, Diminishing Returns: The Hidden Costs of the Arms Trade and US Weapons at War: United States Arms Deliveries to Regions of Conflict. In addition, the project places dozens of op-eds in newspapers across the country. For more information, contact William Hartung at 65 Fifth Avenue, Suite 413, New York, NY 10003; phone 212/229-5808; fax 212/229- 5579; e-mail email@example.com; worldpolicy.org
Want a good introduction to the contemporary international arms trade, or a classic historical treatment to help put the issue in perspective? Many more books and studies have been written on various aspects of state-sanctioned weapons trafficking than we could possibly note, but here's our short list of keepers. They are good reads, as well as standards. As is the case throughout this guide, our reading list includes principally books about US policy.
And Weapons For All (HarperCollins, 1995), by William Hartung. An excellent introduction to the arms bazaar of the 1990s, this book is a lively critique of US policy from Nixon to Clinton. It is full of head-shaking anecdotes and interviews. Arms traders say the most amazing things on the record! Read it to be entertained and outraged.
The Arms Bazaar (Viking Press, 1977), by Anthony Sampson. Two decades old, this book continues to be a worthwhile read. Sampson examines the growth of corporate and governmental arms exporters in the 1970s, revealing the corruption and bribery that weapons dealers will resort to in order to make a sale.
Engines of War (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990), by James Adams. This book describes the shift in the 1980s from a seller's to a buyer's market and explores the ramifications that shift had on weapons system design-everything produced with exports in mind! Engines also shines a light on the new generation of arms brokers who sometimes operate in the margins of the law and sometimes completely outside of it.
Merchants of Death (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1934), by H.C. Engelbrecht and F.C. Hanighen. This volume is the foundation on which all of these other books build. Written with an even, professional tone, though with a pacifist underpinning, it shows that high pressure sales tactics by the arms industry and dubious sales methods are not a new phenomenon. This history examines the extent to which the "merchants of death" spurred World War I.
Spoils of War (Free Press, 1997), by John Tirman. Through three interconnected storylines-one exploring the history of the arms industry in Connecticut, one US policy in the Middle East, and one the plight of Turkey's Kurdish population-this book reveals the workings of US decision making. Follow a particular helicopter sale to Turkey from backroom deal-cutting to the Connecticut shop floor to destroyed villages in Southeastern Turkey.
Supplying Repression (Institute for Policy Studies, 1977) by Michael T. Klare. This slim book had a big impact and set a standard for researching weapons exports from the United States. Using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain previously unavailable data, Klare showed how US weapons and "police equipment"-such as thumbscrews and bludgeons-were going to some of the most repressive military and police forces in the world. The book helped persuade lawmakers to bar US aid to police forces.
Lora Lumpe founded the Arms Sales Monitoring Project in 1991 and directed it until August 1998. Lumpe is currently a senior fellow at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, where she studies the proliferation of infantry-style weapons around the world, helping develop policy initiatives to reduce the dangers these weapons pose to civilians.
Jeff Donarski was a research associate with the Arms Sales Monitoring Project from February 1997-May 1998. He is currently a legislative aide to Congressman John LaFalce (D-NY), covering foreign policy, defense, trade and environmental issues.