THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 17, 1995
Criteria for Decisionmaking on U.S. Arms Exports
Given the complexities of arms transfer decisions and
the multiple U.S. interests involved in each arms
transfer decision, the U.S. Government will continue to
make arms transfer decisions on a case-by-case basis.
These reviews will be guided by the criteria below.
All arms transfer decisions will take into account the
-- Consistency with international agreements and arms
-- Appropriateness of the transfer in responding to
legitimate U.S. and recipient security needs.
-- Consistency with U.S. regional stability interests,
especially when considering transfers involving power
projection capability or introduction of a system which
may foster increased tension or contribute to an arms
-- The degree to which the transfer supports U.S.
strategic and foreign policy interests through increased
access and influence, allied burdensharing, and
-- The impact of the proposed transfer on U.S.
capabilities and technological advantage, particularly in
protecting sensitive software and hardware design,
development, manufacturing, and integration knowledge.
-- The impact on U.S. industry and the defense
industrial base whether the sale is approved or not.
-- The degree of protection afforded sensitive
technology and potential for unauthorized third-party
transfer, as well as in-country diversion to unauthorized
-- The risk of revealing system vulnerabilities and
adversely impacting U.S. operational capabilities in the
event of compromise.
-- The risk of adverse economic, political or social
impact within the recipient nation and the degree to
which security needs can be addressed by other means.
-- The human rights, terrorism and proliferation
record of the recipient and the potential for misuse of
the export in question.
-- The availability of comparable systems from foreign
-- The ability of the recipient effectively to field,
support, and appropriately employ the requested system in
accordance with its intended end-use.
Upgrades of equipment -- particularly that of former
Soviet-bloc manufacture -- is a growing segment of the
market. The U.S. government should support U.S. firms'
participation in that market segment to the extent
consistent with our own national security and foreign
policy interests. In addition to the above general
criteria, the following guidelines will govern U.S.
treatment of upgrades:
-- Upgrade programs must be well-defined to be
considered for approval.
-- Upgrades should be consistent with general
conventional arms transfer criteria outlined above.
-- There will be a presumption of denial of exports to
upgrade programs that lead to a capability beyond that
which the U.S. would be willing to export directly.
-- Careful review of the total scope of proposed
upgrade programs is necessary to ensure that U.S.
licensing decisions are consistent with U.S. policy on
transfers of equivalent new systems.
-- U.S. contributions to upgrade programs initiated by
foreign prime contractors should be evaluated against the
-- Protection of U.S. technologies must be ensured
because of the inherent risk of technology transfer in
the integration efforts that typically accompany an
-- Upgrades will be subject to standard USG written
end use and retransfer assurances by both the integrator
and final end user, with strong and specific sanctions in
place for those who violate these conditions.
-- Benchmarks should be established for upgrades of
specific types of systems, to provide a policy baseline
against which (1) individual arms transfer proposals can
be assessed and (2) proposed departures from the policy
must be justified.