THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 17, 1995
STATEMENT BY THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY ON CONVENTIONAL
ARMS TRANSFER POLICY
The President has approved a comprehensive policy to govern transfers
of conventional arms. This policy, as detailed in the attached fact
sheets, serves our nation's security in two important ways. First, it
supports transfers that meet the continuing security needs of the United
States, its friends and allies. Second, it restrains arms transfers that
may be destabilizing or threatening to regional peace and security.
This policy reflects an approach towards arms transfers that has
guided the Administration's decisions over the last two years.
Specifically, the United States continues to view transfers of
conventional arms as a legitimate instrument of U.S. foreign policy --
deserving U.S. government support -- when they enable us to help friends
and allies deter aggression, promote regional security, and increase
interoperability of U.S. forces and allied forces. Judging when a
specific transfer will meet that test requires examination of the
dynamics of regional power balances and the potential for destabilizing
changes in those regions. The criteria guiding those case-by-case
examinations are set forth in the attached guidelines for U.S.
decisionmaking on conventional arms transfers.
The centerpiece of our efforts to promote multilateral restraint is
our initiative to work with allies and friends to establish a successor
regime to COCOM. The new regime should establish effective international
controls on arms sales and the transfer of sensitive technologies --
particularly to regions of tension and to states that pose a threat to
international peace and security. While pursuing multilateral restraint
through this and other mechanisms such as the UN conventional arms
register and regional initiatives, the United States will exercise
unilateral restraint in cases where overriding national security or
foreign policy interests require us to do so.