News “US to announce changes to arms transfer policy.” Last Minute WORLD headlines and events
Three State Department officials familiar with the United States’ new conventional arms transfer (CAT) policy told Reuters that President Joe Biden’s administration will announce tomorrow a long-awaited review of arms export policy with a greater focus on human rights.
Officials told Reuters the ruling will cover how CAT’s policy considers the use of weapons made in the United States for serious human rights violations.
CAT’s policy includes verification of security assistance, intergovernmental arms transfers, and licensed commercial sales of US-origin military equipment and services under the oversight of the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Commerce, including firearms common in the United States. United States.
Under the new policy, arms transfers will not be approved if the State Department believes that the use of the weapons is “more likely than not to be used” to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the Geneva Conventions, or serious violations of international law.
Previous CPT policy stipulated that such transfers should not be allowed only when Washington had “up-to-date information” that weapons would be used in such activities.
Officials did not specify which countries could be affected by the new policy.
In the past, arms sales to countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been questioned due to civilian casualties caused by the war in Yemen.
The Reuters news agency reported in 2021 that the Biden administration was considering such a change. According to Reuters, the official announcement was delayed due to factors such as the tumultuous withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 and the war in Ukraine that began a year ago.
The United States is by far the world’s largest arms dealer, selling more than $100 billion worth of arms, services, and training annually.
Members of Congress often raise concerns about human rights by opposing arms transfers. For example, Democratic Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez opposes the sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 jets to Turkey for reasons such as violation of human rights.
The new policy is that in 2018, the administration of former Republican President Donald Trump, which sees arms deals as a way to create jobs in the United States, may have bypassed the precedent of a Congressional review of major arms deals involving the sale of smart bombs and sending other weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates marks a departure from his adopted policies.
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